Spina Bifida - Hospital admissions

Disclaimer: This fact sheet is for education purposes only. Please consult with your doctor or other health professional to make sure this information is right for your child.

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Some hospital admissions are unavoidable. There are many things to think about when getting ready for an admission. 

Depending on why you have been admitted, you or your family may need to be assertive and advocate on behalf of your child’s specific Spina Bifida needs. Here are some suggestions to help when your child is being admitted to hospital.

What to bring to hospital

Medical Checklist

  • Personal health records e.g. the blue or red book or recent clinic letter
  • Medicare card
  • Private health insurance details
  • List of medications and the medications themselves
  • Details of your General Practitioner (GP) including their address and phone number
  • Any relevant x-rays or results from recent tests
  • Any mobility equipment (including wheelchairs and orthotics)

Personal checklist for overnight and long term stay

  • Clothes (including pyjamas and slippers) and shoes
  • Toothbrush, toothpaste and hairbrush
  • Catheter or bowel washout equipment (if required)
  • Money for meals, parking and accommodation of family members
  • Books and activities to pass the time. Children’s hospitals also have a school onsite which is run by the NSW Department of Education and Training.
  • Phone and phone charger.

What to ask for

Not all hospital staff will have a good understanding of Spina Bifida. Please ask the ward staff to advise the Spina Bifida Clinical Nurse Consultant (CNC) of your admission.

You or your family may need to ask for the following:

  • Pressure mattress or other skin protection equipment that you use.
  • Staff to check skin for pressure injury marks, morning and night.
  • Medications if needed at certain times.
  • Help with bladder and bowel management program.


Not all hospitals are going to know your specific needs. It is OK to be assertive and advocate for your child. 

The Children's Hospital at Westmead
Sydney Children's Hospital, Randwick
Hunter New England Kids Health

For publications recommended by our hospitals' experts, please visit the Kids Health book shop.