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Scheduling Surgery

After we receive the referral for surgery, please allow one business week for the surgical scheduling coordinator to contact you to set a date for surgery. If you are not contacted within one week, please call your surgeon’s office.  

These steps must be taken before a surgical date can be set: 

  • If you are not the biological parents or legally adoptive parents, you must provide proof of legal guardianship to the surgical scheduling coordinator before surgery can be scheduled.
  • If you are an adult patient age 18 or older who has the ability to make an informed decision, you have the right to make your own medical treatment decisions. 
  • Any consultations or tests requested by your child’s surgeon, such as seeing a neurologist or having a CT scan, need to be completed and the results faxed to your surgeon’s surgical scheduling coordinator.
  • Self-pay patients must make arrangements with Children’s Financial Information Center by calling (202) 476-5547.
Physical Exam

Physical Exam

Your surgeon will let you know if you are required to obtain a history and physical exam performed by your child’s primary care physician. If it is required, when the surgery date is set, schedule a pre-surgical physical to be completed approximately 7-14 days before surgery. Any necessary lab work should be done at that time as well. 

The day the physical exam is done, your child’s primary care physician should fax the “Outpatient History and Physical” form to your surgeon’s surgical scheduling coordinator. Call the surgical scheduling coordinator to confirm that the form has been received. 

Important: You should keep the original form and bring it with you on the day of surgery.

Lab Work

Lab Work

Your child’s surgeon may request certain lab tests be done. Results must be faxed to the surgical scheduling coordinator at least one week before the surgery. Tests may be done by:

  • The primary care physician at the time of the pre-operative physical
  • The Clinical Lab at Children’s National (if your insurance allows)
  • An insurance-contracted lab

The Clinical Lab at Children’s National is open:
Monday-Friday, 7 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Saturday-Sunday, 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Call (202) 476-5355 to schedule an appointment.

Blood Donations and Transfusions

Blood Donations and Transfusions


Children’s National offers a Directed Donor Program, which allows family members or friends to donate blood to be used during the patient’s hospital stay and/or for procedures. There is no evidence that blood from directed donors is safer than from regular volunteer donors, but this service is frequently requested by parents. 

The Blood Donor Center at Children’s National is open:
Monday - Friday, 7 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Call (202) 476-KIDS to schedule an appointment.

Some patients may donate blood for themselves for elective surgeries through the Autologous Donation Program. Donation must be done at least one week before surgery. The child must be healthy, cooperative, not be anemic and at least 10 years old. Small children can’t be their own donors. 

For more information about both kinds of blood donation, ask your physician and/or visit

Religious Considerations

Religious Considerations

Some families hold religious beliefs which prevent their acceptance of whole blood and, sometimes, other blood products. Children’s National is committed to the care of all its patients, regardless of their religious beliefs. If you have a religious objection to the use of blood transfusions for your child, please discuss this with your surgeon well in advance of surgery.