Surgery and Procedure FAQs

Patient Safety

How are you keeping patients safe at ambulatory locations?

Ahead of your appointment at an ambulatory location, you will receive a call from a nurse to screen for symptoms. We want to give you as much information as we can before your visit. To obtain proper social distancing, we have limited the number of appointments, so there are fewer patients at each location. We have also limited seating to ensure social distancing and have enhanced cleaning at each location. We are also limiting visitors to one adult for each child at this time.

What measures are you taking to prevent the spread of COVID-19?

We are following the latest guidance from the CDC to prevent the spread of the virus. That includes frequent hand washing, daily temperature screenings for staff and wearing masks at all times. As information changes, we update our staff and our protocols. We also monitor what’s happening with the virus and adapt to changes as needed.

How are you protecting patients who have to stay at the hospital for an extended period of time?

All rooms are thoroughly cleaned following the latest guidance from the EPA and our own infection prevention team. There are visitor restrictions in place to limit the number of people inside the hospital and those visitors will be screened when they arrive. Staff members are screened daily and anyone with even mild symptoms are not allowed to come back to work.

My child has an autoimmune condition. How will you keep them safe?

Our infection prevention measures are designed to keep all patients safe, including those who are immunocompromised. We are minimizing wait times, taking steps to ensure social distancing and making sure all staff are wearing masks. All patients and their parent will also need to wear a mask.

What happens if my child has to go to the emergency department?

At Yale New Haven Children’s Hospital, we have valet parking, allowing you to bring your child straight to the emergency department. Once you arrive, our goal is to make sure your child’s care is as safe as possible. Wait times are minimized, and the waiting room is set up in a fashion that ensures social distancing. Wait times are minimized, and the waiting room is set up in a fashion that ensures social distancing. If you don’t have a mask for you or your child, we will provide them to you. We also have all private rooms, so your child will not be placed with other patients.

Will Child Life Specialists be available to help children through these changes?

Yes. Our Certified Child Life Specialists help provide education and support for children and their families. They can talk to children before a surgery and answer patient questions in a way that’s easy to understand for their age. They will then be available during the child’s recovery. Certified Child Life Specialists also provide resources to families and are offering virtual support programs for patients that need to be admitted.

Can children bring a stuffed animal to the hospital?

Yes. We want our patients to feel comfortable when they’re at the hospital. We know this is a different environment for them, and we want to put them at ease.

What is Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome or MIS-C?

MIS-C is a syndrome in children linked to COVID-19. Yale New Haven Children’s Hospital has successfully treated a handful of patients with the syndrome. The primary symptoms include fever, severe belly pain, rash, changes to the lips or tongue, vomiting and diarrhea, neck swelling and reddening of the eyes. If you suspect your child has symptoms, call your child’s physician right away.


Are you doing pre-anesthesia visits in person?

Yes, we are holding in person pre anesthesia visits. We take all CDC recommended precautions. You and your child (if over 2yr/old) will be asked to wear a facemask. We are also doing pre-anesthesia visits by video when that can accomplish the same high quality assessment we strive for. A member of the Children's Hospital Surgery Center team will call you ahead of time to discuss your child’s medical history, surgical history. If necessary a more detailed in person or video call will be setup with one of our pre-anesthesia nurse practitioners to develop the best anesthesia plan for your child. You can ask questions, and your child can also ask questions during that video call.

What happens the day of my child’s surgery?

Before the surgery, your child will need to be tested for COVID-19. The day of surgery, one parent can accompany your child. Throughout the check-in process, everyone will be wearing masks, including the parent.

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What happens while I wait during my child’s surgery?

During the procedure, the parent can wait in our socially distanced waiting room or you may choose to go to another location offsite which we are happy to update you via phone. When the surgeon comes out to speak to you, they will talk to you in another room without any other families. After the surgery, the parent meets their child directly in the recovery room before going home.

Can parents accompany their child to their procedure or operation?

We welcome one parent to accompany their child in the pre-operative and post-operative areas. Our policy at this time is not to allow parents inside the operating room itself. We strive to keep our pediatric patients comfortable every step of the way. That includes extra attention from our Child Life Specialists. When you arrive, we will enroll the parent and any other family members you choose into our intraoperative text messaging system. This will allow us to update you every step of the way including those not in the hospital.

What happens if my child has COVID-19 and needs emergency surgery?

If your child has COVID-19 and needs emergency surgery, they will be treated in a separate specially ventilated operating room in another part of the hospital. If your child tests positive for COVID-19 and is scheduled for an elective surgery, that procedure will be rescheduled for another time that is deemed safe.

Will all of the surgery staff be tested for COVID-19?

Yale New Haven Health is currently testing asymptomatic employees system wide. So far, thousands of employees have been tested, and the positivity rate is very low. In addition, we are taking many precautions to ensure the safety of all staff members including daily temperature screenings as well as all staff wearing masks at all times. Our health system has also begun vaccinating our employees. Thousands have already been vaccinated with more every day.

Will every surgery patient get tested for COVID-19?

Yes. Across the Yale New Haven Health system, we are testing all surgery patients, including children, ahead of their procedure. After your child’s surgery is scheduled, you will be contacted to set up a COVID-19 test at a Yale New Haven Health testing area. If your child tests positive, their procedure will likely be re-scheduled unless they need emergency surgery.

Is it safe to schedule my child’s elective surgery?

Yes. If you had an elective surgery planned for your child and it was postponed due to COVID-19, call your surgeon to determine when you can come in again.

Are post-op visits for my child going to be in person?

We tailor post-op visits to the needs of each patient. In some cases, you may need to bring your child in for a visit so their doctor can determine how their progress is going. In other cases, a video visit might be appropriate.

If my child has to stay overnight, will they be sharing a room with another patient?

No. Right now we only have private rooms for our pediatric patients so they will not be sharing rooms with other children. In addition, one parent will be allowed at all times with their child.