Paediatric emergency services are located within the emergency departments at Monash Medical Centre, Dandenong Hospital and Casey Hospital, all of which are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Patients have access to a full range of treatment options, including intensive care. If clinically appropriate, patients may need to be transferred to another site within the service.
Deciding to go to the emergency department
Your decision to take your child to the emergency department should be made based on the severity of his/her injury or illness.
In an emergency, call triple zero (000) and ask for an ambulance. The paramedics can then asses your child’s condition upon arrival and determine the appropriate care, which may include taking your child to the nearest emergency department or treating him/her on the scene.
If it’s not an emergency, your general practitioner should be able to assist you.
What to bring
If you choose to go to emergency, remember to bring:
- Medicare or Private Health Insurance card
- A list of your child’s current medications
- Any relevant x-rays, scans or test results
- Your child’s general practitioner’s address and phone number
- Baby dummy, teddy and/or favourite toy
- Charged mobile phone and charger
- Nappies and bottle of milk/formula (if applicable)
- Money for phone calls, vending machines and/or a cab home if you are travelling to the hospital by ambulance
Emergency departments are busy places, where the treatment of patients is prioritised according to the urgency of each individual’s medical condition, not necessarily the order in which they arrive.
This system is called a triage system. When you arrive, your child will be assessed to determine how urgent his/her condition is.
What to expect
On arrival, the triage nurse will ask for your child’s name, health concern, medications, allergies and any past history. Your child’s medical condition will then be assessed (as per above).
You will also be required to provide your contact details and Medicare card or insurance details.
Depending on your child’s condition you may be taken immediately into a cubicle or asked to take a seat in the waiting area.
Once in a cubicle, your child will be seen by a nurse and a doctor. They will examine him/her and may order further tests or treatment.
Should you have any concerns, in particular if your child’s condition changes, please let either the nursing or medical staff know immediately.
After observation and care, depending on your child’s medical condition, he/she may need to:
- Rest at home until recovered
- Be observed for a while longer by medical staff
- Get treatment such as a plaster cast or stitches or a prescription for medication
- See a specialist
- Be admitted to this hospital (or to another hospital for specialist treatment)
Before you leave the emergency department, make sure that you:
- Understand your child’s treatment and the care that he/she requires
- Know what medicines your child needs to take and why
- Ask if your child requires a follow up appointment and/or letter for his/her doctor
- Ask your clinician any questions you might have about your child’s care
We try to see all our patients as quickly as possible but sometimes we do get busy. If you decide to leave before your child is treated, you can do so at any time. Please notify the triage nurse that you are leaving so that we can suggest other alternatives for your child. We are always happy to review your child again if you have any ongoing concerns.
When discharged from our Emergency Departments, you will be given a letter containing your child’s health record and attendance at the hospital. You should ensure your child’s doctor receives a copy. This will assist in completing your child’s medical records.