Caring For Your Child After Pediatric Surgery: Ask As Many Questions As You Can
CARING FOR YOUR CHILD AFTER PEDIATRIC SURGERY: ASK AS MANY QUESTIONS AS YOU CAN
(SOUTHBURY, CT)—Children’s healthcare needs are very different from those of adults—especially in the case of surgical procedures. And because of this, it is very important that parents follow post-operative instructions closely and do not hesitate to ask any questions of their child’s medical team.
When a child is discharged from the hospital, the nurses in the PACU (post-anesthesia care unit) will provide parents with important information to aid them in taking care of their child at home.
“Don’t be afraid to ask anything,” says Dr. Armen G. Ketchedjian (Dr. Ketch), author of Will It Hurt? Parent’s Practical Guide to Children’s Surgery. “It is easier to address all questions before leaving the medical center than to try to find the answers at home.”
Children who are scheduled to leave the hospital on the same day as their surgery must be monitored at all times.
“The prescribed post-surgical care outlined by a child’s surgeon usually includes bed rest to minimize the likelihood of bleeding, pain or disruption of the surgical site,” says Dr. Ketch. “Bed rest is also essential to preclude injuries due to falling or other accidents related to the effects of anesthesia.”
While at home, parents should be aware that the effects of anesthetic agents might linger for more than twenty-four hours. Pain medications can also enhance the effects of anesthesia.
In his book Will It Hurt?, Dr. Ketch provides parents with dangerous symptoms to look out for during post-surgery care:
• Difficulty breathing
• Changes in the child’s behavior
• Redness or swelling around the surgical site
• Fever or severe pain
• Increased bleeding
“Keep accurate records of side effects after the surgery,” says Dr. Ketch. “Nausea and vomiting are common and can occur after general anesthesia. It is also normal for children to experience some degree of pain and discomfort after surgery.”
Parents should be comforting and supportive of their child while he or she is recovering. The more knowledgeable they are about their child’s condition, the better they will be able to manage their care. If parents feel uncertain, they should not hesitate to ask questions for further clarification.
Listed in The Guide to America’s Top Anesthesiologists by the Consumer Research Council of America, Dr. Ketch trained at Cornell Medical Center with a fellowship at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and a pain management elective at Boston Children’s Hospital. He has worked to help develop new techniques in ambulatory anesthesia, taught medical students and residents, and cared for more than 10,000 patients.
Dr. Ketch is also the author of the children’s book Golden Apples (winner of the 2008 Reviewer’s Choice Award), a beautifully illustrated book that aims to help educate children about the dangers of drug abuse.
For more information, contact the author directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
WARREN ENTERPRISES LLC and author Dr. Armen G. Ketchedjian chose Arbor Books, Inc. (www.ArborBooks.com) to design and promote Will It Hurt? Parent’s Practical Guide to Children’s Surgery. Arbor Books is an internationally renowned, full-service book design, ghostwriting and marketing firm.
(Will It Hurt? Parent’s Practical Guide to Children’s Surgery by Dr. Ketch; ISBN: 0-9815373-0-8; $14.95; 172 pages; 5˝” x 8 ˝”; softcover with illustrations; WARREN ENTERPRISES LLC)
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