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Merlin’s Magic Wand

Gardaland SEA LIFE Create Hospital "Aquairum-Therapy" Area

Gardaland SEA LIFE Aquarium and P. Pederzoli Hospital, in collaboration with Merlin’s Magic Wand Italy, have created a new “SEA LIFE Therapy” area in the hospital for children in the pre-operational ward.

The area is part of a 12 month research project, the first of its kind in Italy, that aims to show the positive impact aquariums have in reducing the pre-operation anxiety of children between the ages of 3 and 7. The theory that ‘pet-therapy’ relaxes patients, reducing blood pressure and heart rate has previously been studied in adults.

The project is being co-ordinated by Doctor Matteo Sulpasso, responsible for the Operative Unit of Paediatric Surgery, who will treat his young patients using “aquarium-therapy” sessions before moving on to more invasive activities or analysis.

Dr. Sulpasso said, “Thanks to the SEA LIFE THERAPY project, a protocol of assisted therapy on children will be studied for the first time in Italy, with the support of an aquarium full of tropical and freshwater fish, with the aim of using it as an antinociceptive (pain prevention) technique.

The objective is to raise significantly the pain threshold but also, most importantly, to eliminate the natural anxiety and fear among the younger ones, so that even invasive exams can be undertaken by the child without having to employ pharmacological (medicinal) support therapies”.

Professor Leonardo Zoccante of the Neuropsichiatria Infantile of the University of Verona and his team will coordinate the research, collecting data and elaborating it.

“We are delighted, my staff and I, to give some of our time for such an important purpose, the happiness of little patients” says Sabrina Repetto, Curator of Gardaland SEA LIFE Aquarium, who dedicates a number of hours, every week, to monitor the functioning of the aquarium and the wellbeing of the fish inhabiting it.

This is the first of many planned collaborations betweel Gardaland SEA LIFE and Merlin’s Magic Wand Italy.

February 2019

Merlin Entertainment