Patient safety is our top priority. Preparing for a hospital admission can be overwhelming, but it is important to know that there are things you can do to help avoid some areas of risk. If you have any concerns speak with your doctor or staff in the Pre-Admission Clinic.
Medications on the day of admission/surgery
Take your usual morning medications with a small sip of water unless you are a Diabetic. It is important that you have instructions from your doctor regarding your medications prior to surgery, particularly if you have one of the following:
- Fluid tablets or diuretics.
- Immunosuppressants or steroids.
- Blood pressure tablets.
- Anticoagulants/antithrombotics such as Warfarin or Aspirin.
- Clopidogrel or Persantin.
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) such as Diclofenac or Naproxen.
- Glaucoma eye drops.
- Anti-Parkinson's medications.
All herbal or natural supplements should be stopped seven days prior to your procedure.
If you normally take insulin
Your surgeon should have discussed this with you. If not, please contact your surgeon or your endocrinologist for a pre-operative plan before admission.
If you normally take tablets
Please follow advice given to you by your surgeon/anaesthetist. If needing clarification, please contact your surgeon, endocrinologist or anaesthetist prior to your day of surgery.
Allergies to medications
If you have any allergies or have had previous reactions to medications, foods, latexs and so forth it is vital that you inform your doctor and us about this and the severity of that reaction.
While in hospital
- Ask your doctor, nurse or pharmacist about any new medications – what they are, what they do, when they are given and their side effects. Become familiar with their names and dosages. Make sure the nurses and doctors check the wrist identification band provided by the hospital before giving your medicine.
- If you have any concerns regarding your medications, including treatments, ask for clarification from the nursing or medical staff.
Prevention of falls
The risk of falling while in hospital can be increased after having an anaesthetic or pain relief so it is important to inform us if you have a history of falls. A falls risk assessment is completed for all patients, but knowing about any previous issues will help us to put supports in place to prevent falls. We will discuss these with you when you are admitted.
Assisting patients to move
Our safe handling policy means staff are required to avoid manually lifting patients. We encourage patients to assist in their own transfers where possible. Staff will use handling aids, which may mean there is a delay whilst the proper equipment is being obtained. Every effort is made to reduce this delay, but it is safer for both patients and staff to wait for the arrival of the required equipment.
Deep Vein Thrombosis and Pulmonary Embolism
Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) and Pulmonary Embolism (PE) are blood clots that can form in the leg or lung. These can occur in certain situations such as long periods of bed rest or operations. If you get a blood clot you could suffer permanent injury or, in rare cases, death.
To reduce this risk we ask that you inform your doctor and us if you have a past history of either of these. For more information click here. Please discuss possible preventative measures with your admitting doctor.
Implantable devices include pacemakers, heart valves, deep brain or neuro stimulators, medication pumps, lap bands and prostheses such as joints. It is essential that you let your surgeon, anaesthetist and pre-admission staff know if you have one of these devices and bring any information about the device to hospital with you.
It is essential that you inform your surgeon, anaesthetist and pre-admission staff if you have diagnosed sleep apnoea. If you have been provided with a CPAP machine you must bring it with you to hospital.
Our staff care about your pain and you can help too. By controlling your pain as best we can, you are likely to recover faster. You need to tell us how you feel and particularly how strong your pain is.
When you come to hospital you will be given some information on how we control pain as well as how we measure pain on a pain scale. Depending on the nature of your surgery, your anaesthetist may give you options for pain relief. These may include oral tablets, intravenous infusions, intramuscular injections or regional anaesthetic blocks. You will be asked to rate your pain and the nursing staff will discuss with you the most appropriate form of pain relief.
What can I do?
The most important thing you can do is ask for pain relief before you get too uncomfortable or before tasks such as showering or physiotherapy. Frequent, low dose analgesia often provides adequate pain relief, reducing the need for stronger analgesia that may have increased side effects.
Remember to tell your nurse or doctor about pain that doesn't get better, even after taking pain medications or if you become aware of having some of the side effects which will be discussed with you.
Some patients will require blood transfusions as part of their hospital stay, either as part of or after a major surgical operation, or as part of their ongoing medical treatment. Blood and blood components are supplied by the Australian Red Cross Blood Service. The Australian Red Cross Blood Service has strict screening protocols for donors and most of our blood is obtained in Australia where donation is from unpaid volunteers.
What are the risks?
As with all medical procedures, blood component therapy involves some risks. These are limited through the care that is taken when blood is collected, processed and administered. Your doctor will ensure that blood component therapy is only given when it is absolutely necessary and will be of benefit to you. Reactions to blood transfusions can sometimes occur, for example headaches or fever. If you are given blood component therapy, you will be monitored closely for early signs of any reaction or problems.
If you are a Jehovah's Witness or have other objections to blood transfusions, it is extremely important that you discuss this with your doctor and that your wishes are recorded in your medical record. Should you wish not to have a blood transfusion it is important that it is clearly written on the hospital consent form before you sign this document.
Where can I find more information?
If you would like further information when in hospital, please speak with our staff alternatively click here for more information.