A & E visits-Survival guide

We have experienced a lot of trips to A & E, GP’s and urgent care centres in the last few months. Thankfully we now have a referral to a respiratory specialist who hopefully will get to the bottom of Isobel’s cough. I thought I would share all I have learned about my many trips to hospital and what the essentials are when going.

  1. Always plan to go for longer than you think you will be there. We went one evening at 7pm and were still there the next morning at 7am without having had any update of when we would be released.
  2. Bring the essentials with you (especially if at night) cuddly toy, favourite blanket and a buggy they can sleep in comfortably, we didn’t even get a cot for Isobel the night we stayed.
  3. Needless to say the normal nappy bag, but add 2 changes of clothes and additional nappies, especially if they are vomiting or have diarrhea.
  4. Bring plenty of bottles of milk if still having a bottle, lots of fluids also especially if they have a temperature and loads of spare bottles, don’t assume the hospital can give you these.
  5. For yourself pack a sandwich and a hot thermos of tea/coffee, nothing seems to be open in hospitals at night (not even vending machines), and again you are not attending a restaurant so don’t expect you will be fed there by staff. You may also want a change of clothes/blanket with you for an overnight stay.
  6. It goes without saying if in the UK bring the child’s red book or at least know their hospital number.
  7. If you have given them any kind of medication immediately tell the first person who see’s you (ensure it is recorded in your child’s notes, repeat several times if you have to) remember the dose and the time it was given, this can be crucial if they are really ill/have high temperature.
  8. If you are going during the day, bring a lunch for your child, plenty of snacks and some of their favourite toys to keep them occupied in the waiting room.

It can be so difficult when your child is sick and decide whether to take them to A & E or not. Our real difficulty with Isobel is, she usually is still really happy when sick so it is very hard to quantify the seriousness of her illness. Even last weekend she suddenly got an extremely high temperature during the night, we though she was just having a whinge. It wasn’t until I turned on the light I could see how bad she really was. I have found the NHS guide to any sickness really useful especially when Isobel has a fever. I have always erred on the side of caution when Isobel is sick and perhaps that is why we have seen A & E so many times, but each time the health care worker has said we did the right thing. Please feel free to share the above or stick it on your fridge if you visit the A & E as much as we do 😉

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