WellSpan Home

Health Library

Discharge from the Hospital

When will my child be discharged?

If your child is having minor surgery, he or she may be discharged home a few hours after the procedure. Your child's health care team will make sure that he or she is fully awake, that vital signs (for example, heart rate, breathing rate, temperature, and blood pressure) are normal, and that he or she can take some liquids by mouth without vomiting.

Even after minor surgery, some children will remain in the hospital overnight for observation, and to receive medications to help with pain or to prevent infection. One parent will be able to stay with your child overnight. In the morning, your surgeon will examine your child and determine if he or she may go home.

If your child is discharged within 24 hours after surgery, you may notice he or she:

  • May sleep more than usual for the first day or two at home

  • May have some nausea and vomiting, or no appetite

  • May be a little unsteady when walking

These problems are usually related to anesthesia, and should improve after 24 to 48 hours at home. If symptoms persist, consult your child's doctor.

After major surgery, your child will need to stay in the hospital. Some children may be in the ICU for one or more nights. From the ICU, your child will be transferred to the regular pediatric unit. Your surgeon should be able to give you an estimate of the number of days your child will be in the hospital when you first discuss surgery.

After your surgeon has determined your child may be discharged, a registered nurse will need to discuss home care with you as well as provide you with written instructions. Before discharge, make sure you understand:

  • Any treatments you need to provide for your child at home, such as changing dressings on a wound or doing deep breathing exercises

  • Medications you may need to give your child, such as antibiotics or pain medications

  • Any activity restrictions your child may have, and for how long he or she must be observed

  • When your child may have a bath or shower

  • When your child may return to school or day care, and whether he or she needs written permission from the doctor to return. This is also a good time to get a note excusing him or her from physical education.

  • Signs and symptoms of possible complications from your child's particular kind of surgery, and who to report them to

  • When to return for a follow-up appointment

If your child will need to take medications at home, a prescription will be provided for you to fill at the local pharmacy of your choice.

Discharge from the Hospital - WellSpan Health

Online Medical Reviewer: MMI board-certified, academically affiliated clinician
Online Medical Reviewer: Turley, Ray, BSN, MSN
Last Review Date: 2014-11-03T00:00:00
Last Modified Date: 2014-11-04T00:00:00
Posting Date: 2008-11-30T00:00:00
Published Date: 2014-11-04T00:00:00
Last Review Date: 2007-03-30T00:00:00
© 2016 WellSpan Health. All Rights Reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.

I would like to:

Are you sure you would like to cancel?

All information will be lost.

Yes No ×

About the provider search

This search will provide you with WellSpan Medical Group and Northern Lancaster County (Ephrata) Medical Group primary care physicians and specialists. If we don’t have a WellSpan Medical Group physician to meet your criteria, the search will expand to include community physicians who partner with WellSpan Medical Group physicians through the WellSpan Provider Network or provide care to patients on the Medical Staffs of WellSpan’s Hospitals.


Schedule Your Next Appointment Online with MyWellSpan

Use your MyWellSpan patient portal any time to view available appointments, and pick the date and time that best suits your schedule.

Go to MyWellSpan

New to this practice?

If you don't have a WellSpan primary care provider and would like to schedule a new patient appointment with a provider who is accepting patients, just log into your MyWellSpan account, and go to the Appointment Center section. As you progress through the scheduling process, you will be able to see the offices that are accepting new patients in relation to your zip code. If you are not enrolled in MyWellSpan, go to https://my.wellspan.org, call 1-866-638-1842 or speak with a member of the staff at a participating facility to sign up. New patient scheduling not available at all practices/programs.

Already a patient at this practice?

If you already have a relationship with a WellSpan practice, simply log into your account, and go to the Appointment Center section. As you progress through the scheduling process, you will be able to schedule an appointment with any provider or practice that already counts you as a patient. Online scheduling varies by practice/program.