Posted on July 10, 2012 at 2:45 PM
Tuesday, Jul 10 at 6:29 PM
SAN ANTONIO -- Sometimes it’s the simplest things that make a big difference. One example is the stuffed animals used to calm children in crisis at University Hospital.
A cache of toys at University Hospital is called the Trauma Toy Chest. When pediatric patients are being treated for accidents or burns, sometimes a fuzzy friend is just what the doctor ordered.
Little 10-month-old Caroline Guevara burned her hands on the oven three weeks ago. Tuesday, she was at University Hospital for a bandage change.
For young patients like Guevara, the comfort of a stuffed animal can be a welcome distraction from the medical procedure they’re going through.
In light of that need, the Trauma Toy Chest was born. The effort started in 2008, when residents would use leftover money on their meal cards to buy toys at the hospital gift shop.
“We wanted to do something for the kids other than using our medical knowledge and our skills,” explained UT Medicine trauma surgeon Dr. Lillian Liao. “And we wanted to bring a human side of medicine into surgery which is not usually known for that.”
When they run low on toys, doctors blow up surgical gloves and make them into turkeys.
“They also come in alien,” joked Dr. Amita Shah.
But the Trauma Toy Chest is in need of more toys.
“We only take new stuffed animals with the tag, the original tag on them,” said Dr. Liao. “It’s really the whole community of the UT Health Science Center and San Antonio coming together for the injured child.”
At University Hospital, that’s more than a thousand pediatric trauma and burn patients every year.
The Trauma Toy Chest at University Hospital constantly needs to be refilled. You can call (210) 567-3623 for information on how to donate.