Children’s surgery unit calms with cartoons

FAIRBANKS — Cartoon characters and colorful settings are helping young patients stay calm at an outpatient surgery center in Fairbanks.

The pediatric area of The Surgery Center of Fairbanks sports jumbo-size decals of SpongeBob SquarePants, Winnie the Pooh, Mickey Mouse and Goofy.

The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports the images are incorporated into a mural that took artist Felicia Johnson two months to paint.

Center administrator Dawn Ferguson says surgery can be stressful and artwork makes it more comfortable for young patients.

Anesthesiologist and medical director Dr. Dave Flory says he routinely provided pre-surgery sedatives to stressed children but many now are preoccupied by castles and characters on the walls.

Surgery Center president Dr. Mark Wade says the artwork has been worth every penny for lowering the fears of children facing procedures.

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