Paediatric Trauma Surgery

What to expect during Paediatric Trauma Surgery?

Paediatric Trauma is the single most leading cause of infant death in South Africa, but we at the Wits Paediatric Surgery unit believe this ratio can be reduced by making correct surgical decisions, using latest surgical techniques and providing Paediatric ICU doctors for post surgery care.

Once your child arrives in casualty, the call is made to the Wits Paediatric Surgical department team who will come and assess your child. Their job will be to examine your child and establish an immediate plan of action. Care of the severely injured child often requires a multidisciplinary team in an Intensive Care environment.

Specific child care

Of course when dealing with any trauma that could be considered life threatening the primary concern is to save that child’s life. Where the speciality begins is that those life saving decisions can affect normal childhood development post trauma care.

The Paediatric Trauma surgeons need to make pressure decisions taking into account the need for your child to develop normally and lead a normal life following their injury.

What to expect on the day of Surgery?

A step by step layout to help you through the day

Of course most of this will be explained to you during the consultation process but in case you missed anything, this is what will be required of any care giver on the day of surgery:

  1. Admissions – you will have to book your child into the hospital at general reception before taking them to the ward
  2. Opening files – the hospital will require you to fill in a few files
  3. Sign consent – for each procedure there is a consent form that details that you understand the risk of each surgery and give consent for the surgeons to perform the expected surgery.
  4. Go to the ward – once all the details are complete you will be allocated a ward
  5. Surgeon review – your child will be visited in the ward by a surgeon before going to theatre to answer any last minute questions and perform a few minor checks
  6. Transfer to theatre – once the theatre is prepared, theatre staff will take your child to theatre for surgery
  7. Recovery – upon completion of surgery, your child will be taken to recovery, then onto the recovery ward or clinic
  8. Discharge – in most cases you will need to work with the ward sister and nurses to obtain the correct documents and discharge papers before leaving the hospital


It is vitally important to keep your follow up appointments. These appointments allow doctors to gauge the success of the surgery and maintain a state of healthy recovery.

You will be required to visit your clinic one week post operatively and then again two weeks post operatively.