If you are accessing this page because you have been presented with a TOFS trauma card, the person you are interacting with is living with the effects of medical trauma, and the current situation has generated a trigger for them.
The holder of this card had major life saving surgery requiring intensive care as a baby and may have had many other medical procedures and investigations since then. As a result, they now find some medical situations make them very anxious and they need more support and understanding than some people.
The card holder was was born with Oesophageal Atresia (OA) Tracheo-Oesophageal Fistula (TOF).
A rare, complex, life threatening condition.
OA means their oesophagus did not connect to their stomach and TOF means their trachea and oesophagus were joined together.
OA/TOF may have resulted in lifelong physical and emotional difficulties for them.
As well as those shown on the card itself, listed below are some of the situations/procedures that may make them feel particularly anxious:
Lots of professionals/students in the consulting room.
They may feel unsafe and find it hard to concentrate on what is being said. They may find it hard to speak.
Keep the number of people to a maximum of two professionals wherever possible.
Allow time for them to write down what you say and then respond.
They may be very afraid of needles.
They may panic, become breathless and find it hard to communicate.
Prepare them for the procedure in advance by letting them know it is coming.
Be calm and confident. This helps them to feel safer.
If they do panic, please let them take a moment to regain their composure before you try again.
They may need to get up and move around.
TOFS does not offer emergency care and is not engaged in the practice of medicine. This information is not intended or offered as medical advice. Any use of the information provided is subject to our full disclaimer at: tofs.org.uk/disclaimer-publications.