Surgery During a Pandemic: Lurie Children’s Makes It Safe

June 18, 2020

When a child needs surgery, their families want to know they’ll be in the best hands possible.

The Department of Surgery at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago knows that now families may be facing even more anxiety than usual about needed procedures, but safety measures put in place are helping to quell those fears.

One Chicago mom said her family had hesitations at first when scheduling her teen’s outpatient procedure for early May. But she wanted to bump it up from later in the month “specifically to have it done at Lurie Children’s” with Dr. Earl Cheng, head of the Division of Urology.  “He is always so kind and focused and never rushes you. He is truly a fantastic physician.”

“I am so glad we rescheduled,” said mom Rachel. “And I’m so glad the procedure was at Lurie Children’s. Everything about the experience, from the minute I walked in – there were zero issues.”

Extra Precautions in the OR

Lurie Children’s has implemented several safety measures to keep patient families safe as surgeries that were previously postponed are being rescheduled. Watch a short video featuring Dr. Erin Rowell, a pediatric surgeon, discussing the hospital’s surgical precautions.

The measures include:

  • All patients, faculty, staff and visitors are required to wear a mask provided by Lurie Children's
  • All patients, faculty, staff and visitors are screened for COVID-19 symptoms 
  • Any COVID-19 suspected patient is isolated
  • All inpatient and procedural patients are tested for COVID-19 and isolated until results are available
  • Hand hygiene is encouraged with ample sanitizer available throughout our facilities
  • Social distancing is practiced throughout all our facilities wherever appropriate
  • All Lurie Children’s facilities are thoroughly cleaned daily with special attention to high touch areas
  • For the operating room, the hospital has followed recommendations from the American College of Surgeons, a national organization that sets the standard of care for surgical education and practice, to further ensure patient safety

‘No Reason to Delay’

Rachel said in addition to her son who needed surgery, a second child had an in-person visit at the hospital’s location in Lincoln Park in May. She was heartened to see hand sanitizing stations everywhere, and everyone wearing masks. When she and her son visited the main hospital downtown for the procedure, both had their temperatures taken while checking in.

“They have really done a remarkable job in this situation.”

Rachel, whose child’s surgery was a success, said her teenager “is so happy and relieved.”

“There is no reason to delay your child's surgery any longer,” Rachel said. “Lurie Children’s has all safety measures in place and having the surgery behind you will be a relief in this time of uncertainty.”

Read more about Lurie Children’s responses and resources related to COVID-19 .