The day of a child patient at the Day Surgery Unit
Your child is coming to a day surgery performed under general anaesthesia or premedication.
The child will feel safe, if one of the parents will accompany him or her in the hospital. Reserve your entire day for being at the hospital. Your child should be as healthy as possible before the operation. If your child has cough, cold, flue etc. contact the Day Surgery Unit. The procedure is postponed, if necessary.
It is recommendable to prepare the child for the upcoming operation. Tell about the hospital appointment truthfully and well in advance to the child. The child may fear words like surgery, removing, and stinging, and instead, you can talk about fixing, treating, or putting. On the page For small children you will find a story about the day of a child patient with drawings, and on the page For bigger children a similar story with photos. ( Storys are not available at the moment, they will published later on)
It is worthwhile to have suitable painkillers for the child ready at home. Shower or bathe the child the evening before.
Bring to the hospital:
Bring the child’s regular medication and the medication used when necessary (asthma inhalators etc.) with you to the hospital. If the child’s diet includes special products, such as soya milk etc., please bring the products with you. You can also bring a toy etc. that the child likes.
On the operation day morning at home
The child must not eat for 6 hours before the operation. Due to a risk of vomiting, the child’s stomach must be empty before anaesthesia. The child may drink small amounts of clear liquid 2 hours before coming to the Day Surgery. If the appointment is later in the afternoon, you will get more specific instructions in your appointment letter or as you call the Unit the day before the surgery.
If the child has regular asthma or epilepsy medication, administer it as usual on the day of the operation. Dress the child in loose, easy, and clean clothes. Children can wear their own clothes in the hospital. Spare clothes should also be brought, especially for smaller children.
At home after the operation
You and your child will be released home 2–6 hours after the operation, depending on how your child recovers. Another adult should be with you to drive the car, because the child may experience nausea, pain, or sleepiness during the way home. The child will require painkillers regularly for a few days after the operation. The painkillers that the hospital instructs you to give to the child are safe.
The effects of the anaesthetic agents last for hours after the child has woken up, making the child sleepy, clumsy, or restless. Nausea may occur also at home. Therefore, the child requires more vigilant adult supervision on the day of the operation than usually. The tension caused by the operation may vent only afterwards. Even after a short visit to the hospital, the child may be in a bad temper and need more attention from you than usual. After the operation children have a convalescence depending on the procedure. It may include limitations for day care or participation in physical education. You will be given separate instructions for these issues.