The Intensive Care Unit (ICU) - a higher level

From Children's Cancer Hospital
Date: Fall 2007
Duration: 02:14

Dr. Rodrigo Mejia:
I believe the best way to communicate to a child when they're reaching that point where they need to go to the ICU, is to be very honest with them and explain that, at the current level or the current state, the treatment that they are receiving on the regular floor is not enough, and they need a higher level of support.
I would strongly recommend that when your child gets to visit the hospital you ask to take, to be taken to the ICU so you see exactly what happens, even if you're never going to go there, because that fear will immediately go away.

Child Life Specialists can help your child get used to the ICU and explain some of the unfamiliar equipment.

Dr. Rodrigo Mejia:
The Child Life team will prepare you for that, showing you the types of tubes or lines that we use in certain situations, and will in some way take you by the hand and make your ride a little bit smoother. What I recommend usually, parents, in my situation, they come to the ICUs, to write down a list of all their concerns. Because as soon as the physician, nurse or the respiratory therapist will leave the room there is going to be 2,000 questions that will pop through your head and you're going to forget them unless you write them down.

When your child, son or daughter, comes to the Children's Cancer Hospital, he's not getting only a cancer expert, he's getting a group of people, multi-professional people that care for children with cancer. Here we specialize in cancer. And that's all we do. Day and night. We care for kids with cancer, in good and bad conditions. So that, that is unique and that's something that we're very proud of.