Spinal Cord Injury - Hospital admissions and Spinal Cord Injury

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 the Spinal Cord Injury specific needs. The following are some tips to make the most of an admission.

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
  • Any relevant x-rays or results from recent tests
  • Any mobility equipment (including wheelchairs and orthotics)
  • Details of the regular family doctor including their address and phone number.

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)
  • Phone and phone charger
  • Money for meals, parking and accommodation of family members.
  • Books and activities to pass the time. (Children’s hospitals have a school onsite that is run by the Department of Education and Training).

What to ask for

Not all hospital staff will have a good understanding of Spinal Cord Injury. Please ask the ward staff to advise the Spinal Cord Injury CNC of your admission.

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

  • Pressure mattress or other skin protection equipment that you routinely use.
  • Staff to check skin for pressure injury marks morning and night.
  • Medications if specifically required at certain times.
  • Assistance with performance of bladder and bowel program.

Further information about Spinal Cord Injury is available at:

Things to remember:

  • Not all hospitals are going to know your specific needs. It is okay to be assertive and self-advocate.

Written by The Children's Hospital at Westmead, Sydney Children's, Randwick, Kaleidoscope Hunter Children's Health Network and Northcott

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

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