It’s All About Comfort in CHOC’s Fully Integrated Operating Rooms

A child life specialist and young boy interact in the main lobby of the Tidwell Procedure Center, on the third floor of the Bill Holmes Tower.
A child life specialist and young boy interact in the main lobby of the Tidwell Procedure Center at CHOC Children’s Hospital.

Comfort comes in many forms at CHOC Children’s, and not all of them involve a prescription pad. And that’s important because pain management is highly complex and must be individualized for each patient’s physical, developmental and emotional needs.

Did you know the same distraction techniques used to re-direct children’s behavior are often used to enhance our patients’ comfort? That’s why an engrossing game of Mario Kart or a visit from a friendly pet therapy dog may be just what the doctor ordered.

“Our goal is to keep our patients as comfortable as possible,” said Dr. Paul Yost, a pediatric anesthesiologist at CHOC. “And sometimes we can use distraction in a way that is much more beneficial to our patients than pain medication. Distraction and other non-medication techniques may allow patients to leave the hospital sooner, with less discomfort and fewer complications.”

At CHOC you will find state-of-the-art inpatient and outpatient surgical care provided within a compassionate, family centered, all-pediatric environment. Our pediatric anesthesiologists are experts in the many techniques that provide comfort, while promoting faster healing and recovery.

Additionally, CHOC offers pain management consultation for all patients around the clock. Our pain management team includes Dr. Hai Nguyen, a fellowship-trained pediatric pain management specialist, and Cheryl Deters, a nationally certified pediatric nurse practitioner.

One of seven operating rooms in the Tidwell Procedure Center.
One of seven operating rooms in the Tidwell Procedure Center.

“For a child, fear and anxiety equal pain,” Dr. Yost said. “The mind plays a very important part in how the body responds to comfort, so we work very hard to minimize fear.”

Using a multi-disciplinary approach, the pain management team works closely with CHOC Psychology, Child Life and other medical specialties. In addition to distraction, non-medication pain management techniques may include guided imagery, traditional Chinese medicine, acupuncture, acupressure, massage, and art and music therapy.

“We have the skills and tools to help our patients cope, including many options that only a children’s hospital can provide,” Dr. Yost said. “Choosing to bring a child here is the most important decision a parent can make. We have the expertise to get our patients through situations as safely and comfortably as possible.”

To learn more about surgery services at CHOC, please click here.

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