Mary Bridge Children's Hospital

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The Role of the Family

We know you'll want to see your child just as soon as possible. Following surgery, you'll be brought to the pediatric or neonatal intensive care unit where your son or daughter is recovering. Here's what you can expect in the ICU:

Your Child's Appearance
Your child has just been through major surgery. When you see him/her for the first time you may see many of the tubes including IVs, a Breathing Tube, Heart Monitor Leads, as well as:


  • Chest Tubes


  • Temporary Pacer Wires
These tubes were placed in the operating room. You may also notice swelling, especially in your child's face and eyelids. This may be distressing. But rest assured, it is completely normal and gradually will go away.

Your Child's Comfort
You can count on the intensive care staff to keep a close eye on your child and make sure that he/she receives medications to control any discomfort. Please let a nurse know if you think your child could be made more comfortable at any time. Your child's comfort is important to us.

Your Child's Safety
Every effort is made to keep your child safe and secure while in our care. Hospital policy requires all side rails and crib rails to be fully raised at all times to prevent your child from having an accident and getting hurt. Another part of keeping your child safe is protecting them from unwanted inquiries. We do not release patient information to anyone other than the child's parents. If you want to keep friends and family updated, please have them contact you directly. In addition, you can give friends and family your child's patient code. Without the code, we will not release patient information to anyone other than the child's parents.

Your Role in Recovery
There are many things you can do to help your child's recovery. The most obvious is just to continue being a loving parent, someone your child can count on for support, stability, encouragement and comfort. You also can help by:

  • Notifying the staff if your child experiences any pain
  • Getting your child to breathe deeply and cough
  • Encouraging your child to sit up, once the breathing tube has been removed
  • Encouraging your child to walk and move around, once the chest tube has been removed   

Our Visiting Policy
Family involvement plays an important role in every child's care. We understand that you and your child need to be close. That's why we encourage you to participate in your child's care and to spend as much time with your child as possible.

Parents are always welcome. (You occasionally may be asked to step out of the room while an exam is performed.)  Your child may have visitors, as long as the guests are not sick. When your child is in the PICU, you will be asked to limit the number of guests (two visitors at a time).

Overnight stays (for one parent) can be accommodated in your child's room in the PICU and on the pediatric Med-Surg unit. In addition, temporary housing (Tree House) is available for families that live far away.

Not Allowed In Intensive Care
For the health and safety of your child and other children in intensive care, we do not permit:

  • Sleeping in bed with child
  • Flowers
  • Latex balloons (Mylar balloons are allowed) 
  • Smoking
  • Visiting other patients' rooms