Hospital Experiences: Accommodating EI
By Elizabeth Stutt
UPdate Fall 1996

     My daughter recently had a tonsillectomy at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario.  I met with success and wanted to share the route I followed.

1. I met with the surgeon and explained my daughter’s needs with respect to her sensitivities.

2. I telephoned the Day Surgery Unit and explained her needs with respect to the use of her own pyjamas, sheets, spring water, Popsicles, etc., and the need for perfume-free staff.

3. I telephoned the Operating Room Assistant Head Nurse and explained these same needs, since it had been this person who had refused the use of our own sheets the last time we used this facility for my son.  She was very co-operative and made arrangements for the surgery schedule to include appropriate notes with respect to the sheets and perfume.

4. On the day of the surgery, I brought a brief set of notes for the surgeon which included specific requests to minimize my daughter’s reactions during surgery.  These included her sensitivity to alcohol (offering benzalkonium chloride as an alternative), benadryl, milk and corn (requesting Normale Saline I/V); a list of her drug allergies; and a request that 5 minutes of 100% oxygen be giver prior to inducing anaesthesia (as per Dr. Williams Rea’s suggestion in the Hospital Guidelines).

All of her needs as expressed were respected and I received no opposition to my giving her homeopathic remedies to help reduce the trauma of her surgery and to help reduce her vomiting after surgery.  Also, since my daughter was having difficulty breathing due to lack of air circulation in the ward, the nurse offered to move her into the hall where there was more air movement (albeit we were the last in the unit at the time).