Care packs comfort kids visiting ICU

A female nurse standing beside a man and a woman in a treatment room. The nurse is holding a toy sheep.
ICU A/NUM Jacky Lurcook, ICU Foundation WA Ambassador Sharon Knapp and ICU Head of Department Dr Ravi Sonawane
January 18, 2018

Children with relatives in Rockingham Hospital’s Intensive Care Unit (ICU) are now given care packs to provide comfort and clarity thanks to an ongoing partnership with the Intensive Care Foundation.

The care packs, arranged by Intensive Care Foundation WA Ambassador Sharon Knapp, include a toy stuffed sheep and a comic book explaining what goes on in ICU using superheroes as characters.

ICU Acting Nurse Unit Manger Jacky Lurcook said having a relative in ICU is daunting and confusing for anyone, but especially children.

“Many times children are forgotten in ICU in the sense that the adults are worried about the patient and aren’t able to provide comfort to the child or fully explain what is going on,” Jacky said.

Since November, 5 care packs have been given to children visiting the ICU.

“I gave one care pack to a distressed 9 year old girl who came into see her grandmother,” Jacky said.

“She really enjoyed the stuffed toy and read through the comic book which helped to calm her down.”

ICU Head of Department Dr Ravi Sonawane said the partnership with the ICU Foundation was part of a broader strategy to focus on consumers.

“We are focusing on developing the non-clinical aspects of care that can improve the patient and family experience,” Dr Sonawane said.

“We will also soon provide specialised diaries to family members to be used as an emotional outlet and to record day-to-day happenings while their relative is in ICU.”