Keeping your child out of the Hospital is the goal of many families with children who have complex medical needs. This should never be attempted however without making sure you have everything you need in place to keep your child safe. You should never attempt to keep you child out of the hospital during a serious illness without the complete support of your primary care doctor. Most people who keep their children home during illnesses that often require hospitalization have the support of a specialized doctor who handles palliative care or complex pediatric care. Besides having the support from your doctor, you also need to have a plan in place, the necessary equipment and medical supplies and a variety of medical providers to help. Here are a few suggestions for keeping your child out of the hospital:
Your child may benefit from staying home from the hospital even during serious illnesses. It can positively influence the quality of life of your child and children often heal better at home. When you talk to your primary care doctor about staying home instead of going to the hospital, you may need to show him you have the knowledge, ability, support and equipment to handle the challenge. Your doctor may not agree with the idea if he feels there is not proper equipment at home or you do not have enough medically trained support at home. Once your doctor is on board, keeping your child out of the hospital can be more of a reality.
As you begin to formalize a plan, make sure your supporting service providers like your home health care team, durable medical equipment provider and pharmacist can help provide you with everything you will need to stay at home. Many times a serious illness or complication will arise without notice. You need to have adequate staff and equipment available in a moments notice. If your child receives nursing care, will you be able to add hours or overtime? Can the pharmacy provide an emergency drug quickly? Does your durable medical equipment provider have the equipment to handle an emergency? This may include equipment like a pulse oximeter, oxygen tanks and extra oxygen, feeding pump and supplies, a ventilator and other necessary equipment.
Finally check with your insurance company to make sure certain medial equipment and supplies are covered. If you have trouble covering an item that you don’t use regularly, remind the insurance company you are saving them tons of money keeping your child out of the hospital. RSVP Home Care can help you with filing insurance claims.
If your child has complex medical concerns, make sure you educate yourself on all the necessary things you need to know. Everyone who will be watching your child and this includes youth and adults in your home should be able to perform CPR on your child. You should get as much training as available to help you use the medical equipment you will need to use and to perform basic first aide. The Red Cross (www.redcrossonlinetraining.org) provides many of its courses online. You can also get some training through your local hospital. If your child has regular occurring illnesses, you can get an idea of what you need to learn and educate yourself in these areas. Your home health care providers and durable medical equipment providers will offer you training to help as well.
If you are keeping your child out of the Hospital, make sure you know when to call for help and when to go to the ER. There are limits to what you can safely do at home. This varies with each child, with each illness and with each home. It is important as your child’s caregiver that you understand when the condition has progressed and you are no longer able to care for your child at home. As you begin to formulate different plans for what can occur, make sure you know what the signs are or when to call for 911 or make a trip to the ER.
Children with complex medical conditions often have reoccurring problems that you can become familiar with and develop a plan of action. This would include a list of everything you need and set boundaries so that you would know when to take your child to the hospital. You should make sure you have the necessary equipment either at home already or on standby for emergency use. Keep at least a two or three day supply of all medical supplies and medicines you may need and make sure the medicines have not expired. Using a supply checklist will help you keep track of everything and make sure you have things on hand when you need them.
RSVP Home Care is available to help you and your child. When your doctor allows you to stay home from the hospital, we can help by providing services, equipment and respiratory therapists to help with your needs. If you have questions about keeping your child out of the hospital or you need help to develop a plan of action for your child, we would be happy to work along side you and your family. Call RSVP Home Care today!