The recovery room

When surgery is completed, the patient is transferred to the post-operative recovery room. The responsible surgeon will often come in to give information about the operation. It is helpful, therefore, that you be present in the waiting room at the expected time of the completion of the operation. Staff will come to the waiting room to escort you to the recovery room.

The recovery room is a large room with space for several children of different sizes and ages. It is possible for two parents or accompanying persons to be present. Siblings are not allowed. Neither children nor adults are allowed to eat or drink in the recovery room, as this can be disturbing to those children who are fasting. We ask that you leave coats and jackets as well as large bags on the ward or in lockers in the waiting room. Mobile/cell phones can interfere with medical and technical equipment and also be disturbing for children emerging from anesthesia and we ask that they be turned off in the recovery room.

Some children are upset and need comforting but the majority are tired after anesthesia and do best if left to wake up at their own pace. All patients receive supplemental oxygen administered by open mask placed near the face. Respirations, pulse and oxygen saturation are among the parameters which are carefully monitored.

Childrens reactions and possible adverse reactions to anesthesia and surgery are highly individual. Intensive efforts both during and after anesthesia attempt to avoid and dampen any possible side effects. Despite these efforts, the following can occur:

  • Fatigue and dizziness
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Sore throat
  • Cough
  • Discomfort from the site of the iv (intravenous access)
  • Discomfort or pain from possible urinary catheter or drain

Pain medication is administered to all patients having undergone surgery as long as the need remains. After some operations medication is given continuously via a pump. The recovery room staff assess continuously the need for pain treatment and administer appropriate treatment as needed. As a parent or accompanying adult you can assist them by communicating when you experience that your child is in pain.

When your child meets the defined criteria for discharge from the recovery room, you will be able to return to your ward.


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Astrid Lindgren Children´s Hospital | Karolinska University Hospital 171 76 Stockholm

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