Surgery Safety

Our goal at Children’s is to provide the safest possible care for all of our patients.

We want to keep your child safe during surgery. We invite you to partner with us and be involved in your child’s care. The most important thing that you can do to help keep your child safe during surgery is to be an active member of your child’s healthcare team. To help us keep your child safe, Please Speak Up! when you have questions or concerns and follow these safety tips (español):

  • Know about your child’s procedure or surgery
  • Make sure that you know what is happening with your child’s care.
  • If you do not understand something, Please Speak Up! and ask questions.
  • Write down any questions or concerns that you have about your child.
  • How can I help prevent infections before coming for surgery?
  • Give your child a bath or shower before coming for surgery. This helps to make sure that the skin, body and hair are as clean as possible.

Why does my child need an ID band?
Your child’s ID band helps keep your child safe by letting our staff know that they are giving a medicine or treatment to the right child. Our staff will actively involve you when we ID your child. We will ask you to verify your child’s name when we check your child’s ID band.

  • Let the staff know right away if it comes off
  • If our staff do not check the ID band first, Please Speak Up! and ask them to do so.

What about safety with medicines in the surgery area?
Based on what you tell us, we will make a list of all of the medicines that your child takes.

  • We need to know the names of all of the medicines that your child takes, along with the dose and the concentration of the medicine.
  • Be sure to tell the doctor and nurse about any over-the-counter medicines, herbs, vitamins or supplements that your child takes.
  • Please bring an updated list from your pharmacist or primary care doctor so that we have correct information.
  • We will also make a list of your child’s allergies.
  • Making sure that all of these lists are correct is vital to your child’s safety.

Your child may receive medicines before surgery to help him relax and be sleepy. Or, your child may receive pain medicines after surgery. Once your child receives these types of medicines:

  • They can affect his balance and ability to move or walk well.
  • Do not allow him to get up and walk around alone.
  • If your child is on a bed or stretcher, stay beside him or keep the side rails up and locked.
  • If you hold your child, make sure that he is secure in your arms.
  • If your child needs to hold onto something to steady himself, use only items that do not move. Do not use IV poles, tray tables or other items that have wheels or move around.
  • If you have questions or concerns about what your child can do, Please Speak Up!

To help prevent medical errors during surgery:

  • If your child is having surgery on one side of the body, his doctor will mark your child’s surgery site. Examples include surgery on one eye, one leg or one kidney. You will be involved with marking the site.
  • You may have read about your child’s doctor taking a "time out" just before surgery. This is done to make sure that the right surgery is done on the right child.

Who should I speak to if I have concerns about my child’s care?

  • If you have any concerns about the quality or safety of your child’s care, please speak with your child’s nurse or doctor. If needed, you may also talk with the manager for that area, the nursing supervisor or the patient representative.
  • You may contact Joint Commission by email complaint@jcaho.org or by phone Monday to Friday 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., CST at 800-994-6610.
  • You may also contact the Georgia Department of Human Resources, Office of Regualtory Services at 404-657-5700.