| 5.8°C Dublin

A helping hand from Jedward eases children's hospital fears


Dr Eoin Fogarty. Photo: Colin O'Riordan

Dr Eoin Fogarty. Photo: Colin O'Riordan

Dr Eoin Fogarty. Photo: Colin O'Riordan

THIS is the doctor who has harnessed children's love of Jedward to ease their trauma in hospital.

His solution to the pain and anxiety children feel when they're brought in to hospital is so simple you have to wonder why nobody thought of it before.

The idea by Dr Eoin Fogarty, has found its way into one of the world's most respected medical journals.

Dr Fogarty discovered through a scientific experiment that a Jedward-like glove puppet was the most ideal way to divert a sick child's attention.

"It's extraordinary how much it's taken off," he told the Herald. Dr Fogarty and four of his colleagues tested the famous Jedward quiff on 149 children who were being treated in the emergency department of Tallaght Hospital.

Given the option of the Jedward figure or a Mohawk-type alternative, the majority of the children said they favoured the Dublin pop duo. The doctors involved used latex gloves to create the puppets before using the fingers to create the Jedward quiff. The study found that the glove puppets was successful in distracting children from their acute injuries and meant doctors had to distribute fewer painkillers.

The study featured this week in the UK-based Emergency Medical Journal and has generated worldwide media coverage.

Speaking to the Herald, Dr Fogarty (32), who now serves in the Mater Hospital, said he hopes the idea is now rolled out in further hospitals.