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Musculoskeletal Services

Admission of a Child in Prep for Spinal Surgery

IntroductionShow [+]Hide [-]

This leaflet aims to provide you with information about your child’s admission to ward 17 before their spinal surgery. This may occur at the same time as surgery or as a separate assessment admission. If you have any further questions please do not hesitate to ask a member of the nursing or medical staff.

Before your procedureShow [+]Hide [-]

  • On arrival to the ward, you and your child will be met by a member of the nursing staff and you will be shown around the ward.
  • You will be asked questions to inform us of your child’s health and usual routine which will be written down on an assessment form to be used during your child’s admission. Observations of temperature, pulse, breathing, blood pressure and weight will be taken. A probe will be clipped to your child’s finger for a short time to record the level of oxygen in the blood. This does not hurt.
  • A doctor will examine your child. All medical information will be recorded and any medicines will be noted and prescribed as necessary.
  • We have a policy where families and carers can help as much or as little as they feel comfortable.
  • Accommodation is available for parent(s)/carers to stay while their child is in hospital.

During your procedureShow [+]Hide [-]

In order for surgery to take place, a number of specific medical tests are required:

  • A chest x – ray
  • Spinal x – rays. These may include ‘traction’ films or ‘push pulls’. These require a small amount of pull from the head and the side by two people (usually a doctor and a member of the nursing team) to give an indication of how much correction can be obtained when straightening the spine. (This may sound worse than it is and is a painless procedure if a little uncomfortable).
  • Lung Function Tests. These involve blowing hard into a tube to measure how well the lungs work. Some children are unable to carry out this test. Depending upon the child’s medical condition it may be necessary to measure oxygen levels overnight when they are asleep. As described before a probe will be attached to your child and recordings made.
  • An ECG. – leads are attached to the chest with sticky pads to give a reading of how well the heart is working. A further test called an ‘Echo’ may, in some instances also be performed. This is where jelly is placed on the chest above the heart. An ultrasound probe (similar to those used in pregnancy) is placed on the chest wall to ‘see’ the heart in more detail than an ECG. None of the above is painful in any way.
  • Blood Tests. These are to ensure that all blood levels are within normal limits, we also obtain your child’s blood group so that blood is available if required during and after surgery. This procedure is carried out after the application of local anaesthetic cream to ensure it is as pain free as possible.
  • Visit from the anaesthetist. This is the doctor who will ‘put your child to sleep’ for the operation and look after them while the surgery is taking place. They will discuss the medication to be used during and after the operation. This will include pain relief.

Time will be given for you and your child to ask questions or discuss any concerns you may have.

  • Once all the tests have been completed you and your child will be seen by a doctor. The operation will be fully explained and you may be asked at this point to sign the consent form. This explanation will include details of any complications that may occur. Again please ask any questions or express any concerns you may have.

After your procedureShow [+]Hide [-]

Normally all the above tests are carried out over two days. It may be possible for you and your child to go home overnight if you are able to return for the required time next morning. This may be as early as 8.00am. This cannot happen if overnight recordings are required.

You will probably be asked to come in on a Thursday for the above tests etc. to be completed by Friday afternoon. Surgery may be the following Monday or at a later date.

This will be explained before or during admission.

For any further information do not hesitate to contact the ward on 0191 2137017 (direct) at any time.

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