Hot wheels help calm pre-op nerves

For Andrea Destraio, five, the wheels taking her to the operating room are shiny and chrome, as she high-fives medical staff and invited police officers whose charity donated her ride.

A children's hospital in San Diego, California, unveiled a collection of remote controlled luxury mini cars on Tuesday that allow its young patients to "drive" themselves to the operating room, reported Reuters.

The cars at the Rady Children's Hospital are actually operated by a nurse or a doctor, and are part of a new programme designed to make children more relaxed before their procedures.

"The kids are having fun. The parents are seeing that they are relaxed and that they are happy," said Dr Daniela Carvalho, medical director of surgical services at the hospital.

The cars were donated by the San Diego Regional Law Enforcement Teddy Bear Drive.

Children have their pick of a BMW, Mercedes or Lamborghini, ensuring their ride to the operating room is a luxurious one.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 21, 2017, with the headline 'Hot wheels help calm pre-op nerves'. Subscribe