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Mattel Children's Hospital UCLA
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Patient Services

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Meal service

childs roomUCLA is proud to offer healthy gourmet meals to patients. Dieticians work closely with doctors and nurses to ensure that nutritional needs are met during your child’s stay. The meal service will only bring food that is approved on your child’s current diet order.

Baths/linen changes

Your child’s nurse and/or care partner will offer a sponge bath daily, usually in the morning. Please let us know if you would like to assist with your child’s bath. Showers and bathtubs are available for patients who feel well enough to use them. Bed linens will be changed every day or more often, if needed.

In the PICU, baths are given daily as well, but at a time that is most appropriate to your child’s plan of care for the day. This could be during the day or in the evening.

Vital signs

Vital signs (temperature, heart rate, respiratory rate, pain assessment) are routinely checked every four hours. Occasionally, your child’s vital signs may be taken more often. We will try as much as possible not to disturb your child during the night, although it may be necessary to obtain vital signs even if you and your child are sleeping.

In the PICU, vital signs are checked every one to two hours, including through the night, and possibly more frequently when necessary.

Measuring intake and output

We need to record everything your child eats and drinks. If you give food or drink to your child, please keep track and let us know. Your doctor may give orders for your child not to eat or drink anything (known as NPO). If your child requires anesthesia for a procedure or surgery, he or she may not be able to eat food or drink for several hours before the procedure. This prevents your child from vomiting and blocking his or her airway.

We also measure your child’s urine and stool. Your nurse will give you a special cover for the toilet (“hat”) or urinal to help collect this measurement. If your child wears diapers, keep the dirty diapers. Your nurse will weigh them to measure how much urine and stool is inside.

Many children will be weighed every day, usually in the evening, while others may not need to be weighed as frequently.