Freiburg: Arrive safely at home: support for the smallest patients – Freiburg University Hospital is developing aftercare for families with premature and seriously ill children – we are looking for donors to support the initial phase

After a long stay in hospital, the transition home is a major challenge for many families with premature or seriously ill children. At the Center for Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine at the Freiburg University Hospital, a social medical aftercare service is being established for them: In accordance with the nationally established concept of the Bunte Kreis, case managers, doctors and nursing experts help organize everyday life and provide support. The offer for premature babies and their parents will start first; it is to be gradually opened to families with seriously ill children.

Helping people help themselves:
“Parents are often very afraid to come home after a long stay in hospital,” says Case Manager Marie-Louise Meyer from the Clinic for General Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine at the Freiburg University Medical Center, who has already headed a colorful group at another clinic. “We support the family on the transition from the clinic with our specialist knowledge. A medically sound assessment often helps in order to be able to sleep more peacefully again. “

Under the motto “Help for self-help”, the aftercare team arranges physiotherapists, answers questions about medication, accompanies you to examination appointments and helps with applications for aids and care levels. The focus is not only on caring for the sick child, but also on supporting parents and siblings. “The aim is for the family to know after an initial phase where they can get support themselves in the future,” explains Meyer.

Advice around the clock:
Little Mirjam Miracle was born 14 weeks early in September 2021. Since then she has been cared for at the Freiburg University Medical Center. The little one still needs some oxygen. But it is growing well and recently finally reached the two-kilogram mark. “We are very excited about how quickly it has grown,” says Marie-Louise Meyer, praising the progress of the premature babies. She made contact with the family at the hospital and advised on what can be organized for the time after discharge. “When I can finally bring my daughter home, it will be a real celebration for me,” says Mirjam Miracle’s mother. “It’s good to know that if I have any questions, I still have a permanent contact person.”

Supporters wanted:
In the long term, the costs for the aftercare offer are covered by the health insurance companies. During the development phase, however, the people of Freiburg are dependent on financial support. The Kiwanis Club Neuchâtel eV already finances part of the personnel costs of a case manager with donations raised through charity campaigns. “Nevertheless, we look forward to further, urgently needed donations, for example to be able to buy a car for house calls,” says the Medical Director of the Clinic for General Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, Prof. Dr. Ute Spiekerkötter.

Donation account:
university hospital Freiburg
Sparkasse Freiburg Nördlicher Breisgau
IBAN: DE04680501010015000150
BIC: FRSPDE66
Purpose: 3411721304 Neonatal Follow-up Care

Colorful circle model:
The concept of social medical aftercare was developed in Augsburg in the 1990s. Today more than 90 institutions are united in the Bundesverband Bunter Kreis eV, which work according to the aftercare model of the Bunter Kreis. In interdisciplinary teams, doctors, pediatric nurses, social pedagogues, psychologists and pastors help people to help themselves after long hospital stays and organize patient training courses and offers for siblings.

(Press information: University Medical Center Freiburg, December 8th, 2021)

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