Providing emergency care for patients with special needs disabilities can be difficult because of their fear, a lack of understanding or an inability to communicate with the people who are trying to help them. That’s why Lake Health Emergency Departments and ambulances now have Comfort Kits on hand. Comfort Kits have two types of items that enable better care for patients with special needs. Sensory items in the kits reduce stress and help patients relax. Communication boards in the kits help caregivers communicate effectively with the patient.
“Special needs patients can be terribly stressed when they’re taken away from normal surroundings and people and placed in an ambulance or emergency patient room. That can prevent vital care and treatment,” says Patty Willson, director of Emergency Services. “Comfort Kits relieve stress and aid communication and care.”
Easy to handle, the kit’s sensory items help calm and distract the patient, taking his or her mind off of what’s happening. The kit’s communication boards allow better interaction with stressed or non-verbal patients. Caregivers can write on and point to items on the handheld whiteboards to gain answers and provide appropriate care.
Comfort Kits were made possible through a grant to Lake Health Foundation from Share A Vision, a non-profit organization for people with disabilities. The kits are available in all of Lake Health’s Emergency Departments at West and TriPoint medical centers and the Madison Campus.