PRESS RELEASE: The Latest Gastrostomy Videos will Help Thousands of Children Needing a Feeding Tube

May 2019

Today What? Why? Children in Hospital (WWCIH) launched their latest videos to show what young patients and their parents can expect when they need a gastrostomy feeding tube.

In the videos, medical specialists talk through how a gastrostomy feeding tube works, how the procedure is done and how parents should care for the feeding tube at home. Developed in partnership with the Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Edinburgh, NHS Lothian and Radio Forth Cash for Kids, these are the latest in a series of informative videos for children and parents visiting hospital, already viewed more than 2.5 million times.

Thousands of children go through a gastrostomy procedure in Scotland every year. It’s a major procedure and can be a complex idea to communicate to young children and anxious parents. Louise, mum of Rocco, who appears in the latest video told us about her experience when preparing for Rocco’s gastrostomy.

We didn’t have anything like the videos WWCIH make when Rocco first had the gastrostomy surgery. Being a parent in that position is daunting. You want to do what’s right for your child but there’s so much to take in. It isn’t always easy to remember what you’re told in the doctor’s office and you can’t keep going back to ask questions. So when we had the opportunity to help other worried parents and children by making this video, we jumped at it.

The videos are absolutely fantastic! With 32 doctors, nurses and specialists helping to deal with my son’s complex needs, it can be overwhelming to take in information they give to us. These videos are amazing for parents to find out information when they’re ready to absorb it. Even if that’s when you finally get to sit down at 2am.

Gastrostomy is major surgery and we had to weigh the risks against the benefits for Rocco’s life. There was so much to take in, about the operation, the aftercare, the differences versus the NG tube. At one point the doctor used a teddy to show how the tube worked – it was useful but didn’t give the full picture.

The videos What? Why? have made cover what you need to know in a calm, thoughtful way. They will be a huge help to worried parents and will help them explain to their child what will happen and why. They should make as many videos as possible!

The videos What? Why? Children in Hospital make are suitable for school-aged children, children with learning difficulties and autism as well as parents and carers from all cultural backgrounds and literacy levels. Visit their YouTube channel and website to view all of the videos in the series.

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WWCIH make videos to inform parents and children what will happen when they visit hospital. The videos show hospital procedures and information in a clear and reassuring way. Parents have shared how big a difference the videos have made in reducing their child’s anxiety.

WWCIH focus on improving people’s health literacy. Some parents will be confident enough to ask for another explanation if they need it, but many will stay quiet and struggle to understand what is happening. This can make them unable to answer their child’s questions and reassure them about the upcoming procedure. Children pick up on the anxiety and confusion of their parents and the added stress can make tests and treatments even harder to complete. The videos are made with these people in mind. They deliver clear, visual information that parents and children can visit again and again.

Since starting in 2015, the charity has developed over 50 family-friendly videos about tests such as MRI, CT, ECG, EEG and sleep studies. The videos have been viewed by 2.5 million people world-wide and have received excellent feedback from healthcare professionals and parents:

What a wonderful resource. My daughter was an inpatient and we were told with five minutes to spare that she was to have an ultrasound done! As she has autism this meant a huge meltdown and panic, however, I pulled out my phone and told her to come and see what it actually involved and peace was restored. Had it not been for that video I doubt it would have been done and her treatment could not have continued! Thank you so much!’

The videos are suitable for school-aged children and their parents preparing to visit hospital. For more information and to view the range of videos visit the What? Why?

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