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For baby Joy, music and medicine are in perfect harmony

James Danna enters the Boston Children’s Hospital Cardiac Intensive Care Unit (CICU) with the tools he’ll use to treat Joy, a 9-month-old patient recovering from open-heart surgery. Instead of a stethoscope or scalpel, James carries only small percussion instruments and a guitar. He gently opens the door to Joy’s room, taking a quick read of her heart rate—138. Joy is a tiny little thing in a great big bed, under bright lights and tethered to multiple machines. Over the course of her multiple procedures for a congenital heart defect, the noise of the monitors, air conditioning and loudspeakers have made for a very wary baby. Her medical chart describes Joy as “staff phobic,” as most adults who enter her room poke and prick her. But Joy has met James many times before and knows him to be safe. She locks her eyes on him and waits for the music to begin. Keeping his distance, James quietly hums a tune while strumming a few chords on his guitar. “The music I play for Joy is soft like silk, a sensory blanket to swaddle and soothe her.” Joy smiles, crosses her little legs and nods to the beat. What is music therapy? James is a music therapist at Boston Children’s Hospital, using his unique brand of therapy to treat patients with all types of conditions, from a broken bone to epilepsy. In this setting, music has a greater purpose than to entertain; it is used to achieve non-music goals, ranging from bringing family members togeth...
Source: Thrive, Children's Hospital Boston - Category: Pediatrics Authors: Tags: All posts Heart conditions congenital heart defect Dr. Sitaram Emani Music therapy Source Type: news

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