What to Bring to the Emergency Room

Just a week ago, Auggie and I were sitting in the Emergency Room. We had been sent there by his pediatrician after he explained that he did not have the kind of breathing treatment Auggie need for croup. The poor guy’s lungs were working great, but his trachea was so inflamed, he was struggling for each breath.

Thankfully we live near a great pediatric ER (Scottsdale Healthcare Shea campus was fantastic!) and shortly after arriving, he was breathing easier. But because he was still having some difficulty, we got to stay overnight at the hospital so they could keep an eye on him.

As I laid on the bench in the quiet hospital room listening to Auggie breathe while he slept, I thought about what I would do for a sweatshirt and socks. Being that it had been 90 degrees that day, I was in shorts and flip flops. And I was freezing. But it was late and it had been such a long day, I didn’t want to wake anyone up. I eventually crawled into the bed with Auggie and layered on the blankets – all in the name of making sure he was breathing ok, of course.

So. If I had to do it all over, knowing what I know now, here’s my thoughts on what you need to bring if you find yourself in the same situation:

1. Sippy Cup.

This one I actually had. Auggie is a big water drinker so I usually have a cup in my bag. For almost any condition, they are going to be pushing the fluids on your little one so having a familiar cup is helpful.

2. Ipad. Iphone. Electronic game of some kind!

What a lifesaver. We don’t normally let the Ipad go with us, but he was feeling so crummy, I let Auggie bring it to the doctor. Thank goodness we did because you know what isn’t on those super fancy TVs in the ER rooms at 6pm? That’s right, cartoons. And when your munchkin is hysterical over the face mask they have to wear and are generally feeling bad, there’s nothing like a little electronic distraction.

3. Chargers.

If you have a second to think before leaving the house, grab your phone and Ipad charger. I did not have either and my phone died about 3 hours into our visit.

4. Sweatshirt and Closed Toe Shoes.

Hospitals? Are freezing. It’s good for keeping germs down, but not so good if you’re trying to keep your teeth from chattering.

5. Blankie / Lovey / Pacifier.

I thought more than once that having one of Auggie’s blankets might have made him a little more comfortable.

6. Call in Favors.

I think one of the reasons that we didn’t have to wait forever in the waiting room of the ER was because A. our pediatrician called ahead. They gave the ER the details on the medications Auggs had been given in the office as well as dosages so they were able to hit the ground running. And B. Peter called a friend of his who is an ER doctor at another campus of the same hospital network. He was kind enough to call the doctor at the ER we were at and ask him to get us in quickly. While I think we would have been well cared for without those things, it sure doesn’t hurt. Especially when you are stressed with a sick kiddo.

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