Preoperative Assessment

In this area, the child will change into a gown and the preoperative nurses will review their medical history and also complete a quick physical exam. The physical exam will include monitoring and recording things such as temperature, blood pressure, height, weight, and listening to the patient’s heart and lungs.

Specific surgeries may require that the child receive a bath in the preoperative area. This bath helps reduce the risk of infection. Nursing staff will use warmed, wet cloths (similar to diaper wipes) to clean the patient’s skin. A video detailing the preoperative bath using chlorohexadine wipes is available on this page for patients and families to view.

Female patients who have begun menstruating will be asked to provide a urine sample in the preoperative area.

A member from the anesthesia team and the surgical team, both of whom will be with the patient throughout the entire surgery, will greet and introduce themselves to the patient and family.

Team members might ask questions like:

  • Does the patient have any allergies?
  • In your words, what are we doing today?
  • When was the last time you ate or drank anything?

It is normal for team members to ask the same questions multiple times. We do this as an added step to make sure we all have the correct information. A University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children surgical team member will officially review the surgery and ask the patient to sign a consent form, which allows the team to continue with the procedure.

  • The surgeon will explain the surgery to the parents/legal guardian and offer the chance to ask any questions they might have about the surgery.
  • The parents/legal guardian will be asked to sign a consent form that gives permission to do the surgery. He or she should read the form with care and ask questions if something is not clear.
  • The team members will ask about the patient’s medical history and review the medicines they take.
  • Parents/legal guardians should tell the surgeon if the child is sensitive or allergic to any medicines, latex, iodine, tape, contrast dyes, and anesthetic agents (local or general).