Pequeno Príncipe guarantees the patient’s right to have a companion, even in cases of COVID-19

The Hospital – which has humanization as one of its guidelines – adopted new protocols and flows to ensure the safety of all

Gabriel Oliveira was born with a cardiac malformation and before reaching three months of life he had to undergo surgery. As if this was not enough, when they arrived at the Pequeno Príncipe Hospital to perform the procedure, the doctors discovered that Gabriel was infected with the coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2). The need for correction in the heart, however, was urgent and Gabriel couldn’t wait. The baby went through the surgery while facing the coronavirus.

It took 15 days of stay in the ICU to win the COVID-19 and also recover from the surgery. Throughout the period, Gabriel could count on his mother’s presence and affection. “I was much more relaxed that I could be with him,” says Vitória Fátima de Oliveira.

Going through hospitalization accompanied by a family member, thus preserving the affective bonds and emotional health of the child and adolescent, is a guaranteed right at Pequeno Príncipe even before it became law, with the promulgation of the Statute of the Child and Adolescent’s Rights (ECA), in 1990. In the pandemic, however, health authorities understood that it would be safer to suspend monitoring during hospitalizations, thus reducing the risks of contamination by the companion himself, as well as by health professionals and other patients.

“As an institution that has humanization as one of its guidelines, we decided to continue guaranteeing this right, even for patients confirmed with COVID-19. We reviewed our flows and protocols so that children can continue to be accompanied,” explains the technical director of the Hospital, Donizetti Dimer Giamberardino Filho.

To keep everyone safe, the companion needs to follow rules, such as wearing specific clothing inside the ICU, in addition to a protective apron and mask; use 70% glycerin alcohol frequently at different times; make meals in the indicated place; and use an exclusive bathroom for companions of patients with COVID-19. In addition, companions must remain isolated in the ICU and those who show symptoms or a positive result for the disease need to be replaced.

30 years of ECA
The Statute of the Child and Adolescent’s Rights celebrated its 30th  anniversary on July 13th. This document guarantees a series of rights and duties for children and adolescents. The Pequeno Príncipe Hospital was a precursor to initiatives that became public policies with the promulgation of ECA, such as the right to a companion and the right to education during hospitalization.

Pequeno Príncipe guarantees the following fundamental rights:
• Right to education: through the Education and Culture Sector (Educ);
• Right to culture and leisure: recreational activities of Volunteering and Educ cultural events;
• Right to family and community coexistence: Participant Family Program – pioneer, guarantees the continued presence of a family member during the hospitalization period; and
• Right to freedom, respect and dignity: Sheltering House (Casa de Apoio), enabling treatment for families unable to afford to stay in Curitiba; death assistance; social benefits for families; Early Childhood care program, in line with the Early Childhood Regulatory Framework; Throughout Life Campaign, which raises awareness and guides the community about violence against children and adolescents; and other initiatives, such as booklets and social media campaigns with childcare tips.

In these three decades of ECA, several achievements are observed. Among them, increased awareness of the rights of children and adolescents; greater access to basic public policies, such as health and education; protection structure (guardianship councils in practically 100% of the municipalities; reception and socio-educational units; creation of protection networks for children victims of violence in several states; and the federal, state and municipal complaint channels), among others, such as the evolution of data and information. However, much still have to be done to ensure the full applicability of the Statute of the Child and Adolescent’s Rights.


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Until 10 a.m. on July 31, the Pequeno Príncipe Hospital treated 380 suspected cases of the disease, 56 of which were confirmed

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