Pets to aid patients in Costa Blanca hospital

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IMPROVEMENT: Pets are proven to help people in hospital. ©Langley-Eustis

PATIENTS admitted to Torrevieja Hospital and the Vinalopo in Elche will be allowed to receive a visit from their dogs and cats.

The Ribera Salud and the College of Alicante Vets (ICOVAL) have created a protocol to regulate the access of the pets to hospitals. This is the first of its kind in the region and one of the very few across Spain.

The initiative has been introduced in response to a number of requests from the patients themselves, something they’ve been trying to achieve for some time.

A similar scheme has been in operation in the Hospital La Fe in Valencia, which has benefited children in the Paediatric Oncology Ward, but the one that is about to start in Torrevieja and Elche will allow pet interaction with patients hospitalised with severe conditions.

The most recent research shows that the presence of pets is associated with relaxation and calm, leading to a reduction in heart rate or blood pressure, and can show an almost immediate improvement in a patient’s demeanour.

Each request for a pet to visit will be studied and authorised by the patient’s doctor to ensure that there is no risk of any allergic reaction or infection.

In addition, they will decide if the patient is fit enough to be moved to the special ‘meeting area’ set up away from the medical departments.

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