Emergency Hospitalization

If your child is admitted due to complications from cardiomyopathy, he/she may be in the intensive care unit (ICU). Specially trained doctors, dedicated nurses and technicians will tend to your child around the clock. Your child's blood pressure, heart rate, and respiratory rate will be monitored continuously for any concerns.

When you see your child, you may find him/her sedated or very drowsy with various equipment and tubes hooked to him/her. Some of the special equipment may include a breathing machine (ventilators), chest tubes to drain blood or fluid from the chest after an operation, and several intravenous (IV) lines to give blood, fluid and medications.

When your child is in intensive care (ICU), there will be many attending unit doctors, fellows and residents making rounds to discuss your child’s case. Try to make your child as comfortable as possible. Here are some tips:

  • Ask the nurse whether you can hold your child (even though he or she may be attached to tubes).

  • Continue to talk to and touch your child so that they are aware of your presence.

  • When it comes to staying overnight with your child most ICU nurses will advise anxious parents to get a good night's sleep at home. It is better to take advantage of the ICU's constant care and save your energy for the pediatric ward where there will be fewer nurses attending to your child.

  • Remember to take care of yourself also so that you have the energy to manage your child’s care.

  • Ask questions and gather information about what tests/procedures are being performed. Share any concerns or observations with the medical team.

When your child's condition improves, he/she will be moved to the pediatric care unit where you can take a more active role in your child's care. The nurses generally encourage parents to bath, change and feed their child because a familiar face makes the child feel more at ease. If you are unsure of how to do something because of bandages and tubes, ask the nurse to show/assist you.

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