Surgery and Procedure FAQs

Yale New Haven Children’s Hospital is now offering elective surgeries for patients. We have seen a consistent decrease in COVID-19 cases in Connecticut and have enough personal protective equipment (PPE) as well as adequate testing to ensure your child’s safety. Yale New Haven Children’s Hospital recently hosted two town hall events for parents. Below are some of the questions that were asked.

Patient Safety

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Surgery

To adhere to social distancing guidelines, we are doing pre-anesthesia visits by video. 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 video call will be setup with one of our 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.

Before the surgery, your child will need to be tested for COVID-19. The day of surgery, one parent can accompany your child to our special designated parking area where you will then call and alert our team of your arrival. We will come out to your car, complete a rapid screening and then personally escort you to your pre-operative room. Throughout the check-in process, everyone will be wearing masks, including the parent.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.