Ambulatory Procedure Center (APC)
|Learn what to expect when you visit the APC for your outpatient surgical procedure.|
Phone -- 314.454.2514
The Ambulatory Procedure Center (APC) is one of the few pediatric specialty centers in the country that focuses on providing general anesthesia for children undergoing a variety of procedures. These procedures may be from radiology, oncology, neurosurgery, neurology, cardiology, ophthalmology, plastic surgery and more.
Our combination of skills and services not only optimizes medical expertise and nursing care, but also maintains a more family-friendly environment that can be much less stressful for your child.
Three days prior to your child’s procedure/test a nurse from the APC will call to give you instructions on the time you and your child should arrive. The nurse will also review your Child’s medical history and current health status with you, and discuss how to handle medications your child may be taking. If you have not been contacted by 2:00 pm the weekday before the procedure/test, please call 314.454.2514 and press option #1.
This call will give you an opportunity to address any concerns you may have about your child's preparation, the procedure/test, or anesthesia. We welcome your questions, so please do not hesitate to ask.
Finally, the nurse will provide instructions for the time your child must stop eating or drinking in preparation for the procedure/test. In addition, we ask that you not eat or drink in front of your child during this same period. These instructions must be followed for the safety of your child or the procedure/test will be canceled.
Children should be bathed, hair washed and teeth brushed the night before their procedure. No contact lenses or make-up may be worn. Finger nail polish must be removed. All jewelry should be removed including earrings and piercings. Females who have started their menses will need to give a urine sample upon arrival.
To help your child feel comfortable and secure, you may want to bring a favorite toy, blanket, or other Item from home - which may accompany them into the procedure room. If your child uses a special bottle or cup, feel free to bring it as well for use after the procedure is complete.
St. Louis Children's Hospital is located at the intersection of Kingshighway and Children's Place.
Once you turn on Children's Place, the hospital's visitor parking garage is immediately on your right, and allows covered access directly into the hospital from the second level.
The APC is located on the first floor of the hospital. If you enter the hospital from the visitor-parking garage you will be on the second floor. Please stop at the information desk and check in. Let them know you are to be seen in the APC The information desk staff will direct you to the Admitting department prior to going to the APC. If you enter on the first floor or street level, please stop at the first floor information desk and they will give you directions. Maps in the back of this brochure can also help you find your way.
All hospital visitors, including parents, are required to wear name badges that can be obtained at the first and second floor information desks.
Be sure to bring all insurance forms and identification cards that might be needed. This is important information for your child’s medical and hospital records. If your insurance plan requires pre-certification, please inform the admitting clerk and your physician.
Only two adults may accompany a child through the APC. Please make other arrangements for siblings on the day of the procedure or test.
Please do not bring food or drink into the APC.
|Ouchless IV at St. Louis Children's Hospital|
After admission, a nurse will escort you to the APC where your child's weight and vital signs will be taken during a brief examination along with placing an outchless IV. In addition to asking questions regarding your child's current and previous health status, the nurse will explain all aspects of the procedure, including sedation and aftercare.
The APC also offers child life specialists to help explain procedures/tests to children. A child life specialist is specially trained to help patients understand the procedures/test and help them cope with being at the hospital. If you would like to have a child life specialist available for your child, please ask your nurse.
Sometimes, seemingly minor illnesses, such as colds and allergies, can cause problems during sedation/anesthesia. If a minor illness raises sufficient concerns that warrant postponing the procedure/test, you will be notified with a follow-up date by phone call.
St. Louis Children’s Hospital Ambulatory Procedure Center offers several types of sedation. Some patients require general anesthesia for their procedures due to medical history. The type of sedation that your child requires is determined by the type of procedure being performed and the medical history of your child.
Because children awaken from sedation/anesthesia at different rates, recovery times may vary. Immediately after procedures/tests, children may recover in the procedure room or be moved to a recovery area within the APC. Children are closely observed and intensely monitored as they emerge from sedation/anesthesia, and parents are encouraged to be at the bedside.
When your child is ready to be discharged, the APC nurse will speak with you and provide instructions for your child's at-home care and appropriate phone numbers for emergencies.
Most children need to be awake, alert and drinking fluids before they are discharged. It is also important for you as a parent to feel comfortable with the discharge process. Do not hesitate to ask questions.
Occasionally, a physician will admit an APC patient to the hospital. If so, parents will accompany their child to the assigned hospital room. Admission for an overnight or longer stay is based on the child's progress, the type of procedure performed, and the physician's evaluation as to whether a longer observation would benefit your child. For assistance with overnight accommodations, call our information desk at 314.454.2615.
If you have any other questions or concerns about your child's condition after arriving back home, do not hesitate to contact The St. Louis Children's Hospital Answer Line. The Answer Line is the only service in St. Louis staffed entirely by pediatric nurses. Our nurses are trained to assess a child's medical needs, and provide expert advice based on established medical guidelines.
They can also address questions on common childhood illnesses, health and wellness advice and offer general parenting information. To reach the Answer Line, call 314.454.KIDS (5437) or 800.678.KIDS (5437).