I never imagined I would have a hospital bug out bag for my daughter, tucked away in her bedroom closet, but last summer Hazel was unexpectedly hospitalized for a week in pediatrics and I found myself entirely unprepared.
She had caught a virus of some sort in July and had a bit of a cough. She was still on oxygen at the time and while monitoring her oxygen saturations I could see her sats were dipping a little but not enough to increase her oxygen needs. When her little cough started turning into a bigger cough over the course of a couple hours I made the decision to take her to the hospital emergency room. She was monitored and sent up to pediatrics to monitored further.
We spent a couple hours in the peds unit, running a lab work up, and going for a chest xray and in that time Hazel's oxygen needs started going up fairly quickly. In a couple hours we had doubled her o2 needs from what they usually were. Now, our peds unit is an observation unit - kiddos can spend the night there but it's preferred to transfer them to another hospital if they suspect the child may be there longer than a night or two. So, the transfer to Abbotsford was arranged (about a 30 minute drive from home) and Hazel was secured onto a stretcher in her car seat and taken by ambulance. I rode with her, and Jeff met us there after running home to get me a toothbrush and a change of clothes.
I went in to the hospital expecting her to need some medications or maybe instructions to increase her o2 but I was completely unprepared for a one week hospital admission and I swore I wouldn't be unprepared again.
Unfortunately for little preemie babes, the walls of the NICU aren't likely to be their last hospital stay. With compromised immune systems, and often other health concerns it's common to have several more hospital admissions. We knew this, and expected it but being the middle of summer we weren't prepared at all.
So when Hazel was booked in to have her PDA valve closed at BC Children's hospital back in October I put together a hospital bug out bag and I keep it in her closet so if ever we have to take her to emerg, I can grab it and throw it in the trunk of the car in case we need it. It's been a big weight off my shoulders just knowing it's there and the only time I have to touch it is when I find she's moved up a size in sleepers, I will update the ones I keep in her bag.
I always hesitate to say this out loud but, *knock on wood* Hazel hasn't had an overnight admission since July and we haven't needed the bag but that's totally fine with me but knowing I'm prepared for when she does gives me a great deal of relief - especially now that she is older and eats foods, and has comfort items and a routine.
I hope this will give you some ideas for a hospital bag if you're planning on having one - I would love to hear you comment below with any items you have in your bag!