Does our child have to be in the hospital for the whole length of treatment? - Can we stay, too?

Author:  Gesche Tallen, MD, PhD, Editor:  Maria Yiallouros, Reviewer:  Prof. Dr. med. U. Creutzig, English Translation:  Hannah McRae, Last modification: 2020/05/12

Until diagnosis is confirmed, during the intensive treatment phases, some periods of the less intensive treatment phases, and also the treatment of certain side effects of the disease or the treatment, respectively, require so-called inpatient care, thus admission to the hospital.

For the time between the so-called "treatment blocks", your child may be discharged given that she or he is in stable condition. Sometimes, home care and/or regular visits at the pediatric oncology outpatient clinic are necessary for regular check-ups. Also, during the last treatment phase, called maintenance therapy, patients will receive some of their medications on an outpatient basis. Follow-up examinations during aftercare are usually also carried out on an outpatient basis with the intervals between the visits being longer compared to those during treatment.

Usually, parents get the option to stay day and night while their child is in the hospital. Almost every treatment center in Germany offers the option of extra beds and day rooms on the wards, as well as nearby accommodations.

During the entire duration of treatment (inpatient and outpatient) in a German treatment center, referrals from the family doctor are required at the beginning each quarter of the year (January 1, April 1, July 1 and October 1). Also, the patient's health care information needs to be updated regularly.