3 yr. old Brooke Van Laekren waking up after surgery with her parents by her side.
If you've ever had a child who needed surgery you know how anxious both of you were before and after the surgery. Avera McKennan is trying to change that with a new policy. In an effort to improve the patient/family experience, Avera is now allowing some parents to go in with their child to the operating room right before surgery and immediately following.
3 year old Brooke Van Laecken is having surgery to fix her belly button hernia. She is with her parents as the anesthesiologist explains exactly what's going to happen to help her fall asleep. Her dad puts a surgical gown on and takes her to the bed where she will have the actual surgery and he was there, by her side, right up until the anesthesia kicked in.
Avera McKennan is the only hospital in the region to allow parents this sort of access. Some allow parents in pre-op and some in the recovery room when they wake up, but rarely do hospitals allow both. The pediatric surgeons at Avera McKennan believe it's the best option for many parents and their kids.
For kids, it's comforting to have their parents be the last people they see before the surgery and the first ones they see when they wake up. For parents, it gives them the reassurance that their children are in good hands and when their baby is brought in to the post anesthesia care unit they are there to tell them everything is just fine.
This isn't for every parent. The surgeons talk with the parents before hand to find out if they're good candidates. If they are uneasy with watching their kids "go under" it's probably not a good idea to have them in the OR with the child.