Zenit, pet and therapeutic respite at the pediatric ICU on October 12

The most "spoiled" door of the Hospital 12 de Octubre, the one of the Pediatric ICU, has been opened in 2019 for Zenit, a "Golden Retriever" of six years that has helped to reduce the anxiety and fear of the children admitted, as well as to reduce its pain scale by three points.

Zenit is the first dog that enters a pediatric ICU in Spain and has done so thanks to the pilot project Huellas de colores, which consists of carrying out weekly interventions with pediatric patients with the aim of humanizing the hospital environment and enriching life of the sick and their families.

Underway during January and February, Huellas de Colores is a program of support for dogs for patients "in vulnerable state", which has helped to reduce fear, anxiety and even at three points the scale of pain of minors admitted to the hospital Madrid, has indicated this Tuesday the head of the pediatric ICU, Nacho Sánchez.

On the Wednesday evening of the first weeks of the year, Zenit has come to this intensive care unit to play and interact with the children, in which a "striking improvement" in their levels of anxiety has been appreciated.

But not only has it made the patients' income more bearable, it has also brought well-being to families and health workers: "The work environment changed in unity, both doctors and parents wanted it to come because it relaxed everyone", he said. assured Sánchez.

The head of the pediatric ICU has stressed that contact with the dog allows "'home' the hospital" and "break with the routine", make it a less hostile place.

This project is part of the center's goal to ensure that the UCI is not a closed environment - currently, family visits can be made 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

"Over the years, doctors have realized that there are attitudes that care as much or more than classical medicine," said Sánchez, who is convinced of the usefulness of "enriching the emotional life" of the most vulnerable patients. children with serious or chronic diseases. A therapeutic respite to cope with hospitalization.

Huellas de colores, a joint initiative of the Hospital 12 de Octubre, the Animal and Society Chair of the Rey Juan Carlos University and the Psychoanalytic Association, has been underway during January and February and will be starting again in April for three more months, but seeks funding to be a stable therapy.

"On October 12, he opened the most pampered door of a hospital, that of his pediatric ICU (...) I hope we can continue, all this has a cost, but the goal is to show that he has a very rigorous job behind him. human and professional level "and that it gives fruits, has underlined the person in charge of the Animal and Society Chair, Nuria Máximo.

During January and February, Zenit has carried out 23 interventions with 15 patients between 3 and 18 years old with different medical, oncological and cardiac surgery tables, with cerebral palsy.

Doctors, psychologists and animal psychotherapists work together in this initiative. However, the prominent role is that of dogs.

So far, only Zenit has gone to the hospital, but is also trained and ready to intervene Senna, a mongrel bitch. They are rescued and adopted animals that "live a second chance" and have social approach skills.

"They manage stress in the right way, they love children (...) The common bond between patients and dogs is that they like to play, and children, families and the hospital environment have welcomed us very much", he said. Detailed dew, animal psychotherapist of Huellas de Colores.

For the presentation of the results of the program, Zenit has returned as a guest star on Tuesday to the pediatric ICU on October 12. In front of so many cameras and after weeks without attending, he just wanted to meet again with his young friends.

In April, he will return to work and play with the children, no longer flashes. Its function is that of a superhero: curb fear, anxiety and pain.

Violet Molina Gallardo.


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