What is “ouchless” emergency care for children?

The goal of “ouchless” care is to take the scariness out of a medical procedure. This philosophy sets a children’s hospital emergency department apart from facilities treating adults.

"Ouchless" care means making procedures as painless and anxiety-free as possible for patients. Potent medications are used safely and effectively to comfort patients, resulting in better patient cooperation and more accurate and thorough assessments.

For more information, call 314.454.5437 or 800.678.5437 or email us.

What are some examples of "ouchless" care?

  • Reducing the pain of needles by first applying a numbing gel to an IV injection site and, later, a tiny needle of buffered lidocaine – barely felt – to further numb the area. When the site is completely numb, the larger IV needle is inserted.
  • Distracting a child to take the scariness out of a procedure. A child life specialist uses a tablet computer, books or toys to engage the child in an activity – shifting the child’s focus away from the treatment.
  • For the most painful injuries like fractures and burns, providing pain medications such as ketamine, midazolam, oxycodone and nitrous oxide, better known as laughing gas.

Can a parent request nitrous oxide or another sedative for any procedure?

For certain procedures and patients, distraction alone may be the ideal option. Nitrous oxide is used when it is the best strategy for the planned procedure. Discuss with our staff the best options for your child based on your understanding of how your child might cope with a procedure.

What can you do to help?

We encourage you to ask questions about your child’s care. You know your child better than anyone, so be sure to let the doctors and nurses know as soon as you suspect your child is nervous or uncomfortable.

For more information, call 314.454.5437 or 800.678.5437 or email us.

Why Choose Us?

St. Louis Children’s Hospital is consistently ranked among the nation’s best pediatric hospitals by U.S. News & World Report, the most comprehensive source of quality-related information on U.S. pediatric hospitals. We follow one simple mission – to do what’s right for kids. That mission comes to life through medical discovery, innovative therapies and compassionate care.

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