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Surgical Safety

If your child is having surgery, here's how to help make the surgery safe.

Before Coming to the Hospital
  • Discuss with your child's physician the surgery to be performed, including expectations, the reason for the procedure, risks, benefits and alternatives.
  • Ask your physician if there are medications your child should avoid or stop taking temporarily before surgery.
  • Check with your physician about what your child can or can't eat or drink before surgery.
  • Write down questions or concerns instead of trying to remember them.

At the Hospital
  • You will be asked to sign an informed consent form, which verifies that you and your child's physician have discussed the surgery to be performed and that you understand the risks, benefits and alternatives.
  • The staff responsible for your child's care will verify your child's identification and what kind of surgery is planned. The same questions are asked repeatedly for the safety of your child. The staff also will double-check what you tell them against documents provided by the physician's office, including X-rays.
  • Depending on the procedure planned, the physician or a member of your health care team will mark the correct surgical location on your child's body. This is another way to ensure that the correct procedure is done on your child.
  • Just before surgery starts, the surgical team will take a "time out" during which all team members assure themselves that they are performing the correct procedure at the correct site and on the correct patient.
  • After your child's surgery, the physician or nurse will ask about any pain your child may have. Children's evaluates pain and provides appropriate relief through medication and other methods.