Preparing for admission

Preparing for admission

How you prepare for your stay in hospital will depend on the treatment or operation you require as well as on you as a unique individual. We trust that the following guidelines will assist you in preparing for your hospital stay and what to expect during your stay and treatment.

Drinking and smoking

As a rule, you should not drink alcohol the day before your admission and, if you are a smoker, you should try to give up or cut down as much as possible, especially if you will be having a general anaesthetic.


Take note of the fasting (not eating or drinking) requirements if you will be having anaesthesia, as your safety and comfort is important to us. Your doctor will provide guidelines for fasting prior to surgery. Failure to comply with these requirements can result in a delay or even cancellation of your surgery.

Taking medication prior to admission

Should you be taking medication routinely (e.g. for epilepsy, hypertension or diabetes) you should confirm with your surgeon in advance whether or not you should take the medication on the day of surgery. If you take blood thinners (such as Warfarin or Plavin), you should ask your surgeon how many days before the scheduled surgery you should refrain from taking it or whether you should be reducing the dosage before your admission.

For more information, click here for our Guide on medication prior to admission.

Herbal remedies and any traditional medicine must be stopped at least 10 to 14 days prior to surgery. These include but are not limited to: Arnica, Feverfew, Ginkgo, Garlic, Ginger, Ginseng, Meadowsweet, Danshen, Devil’s Claw, Papaya, St John’s Wart, Tamarind, Dongquai and Pulmonaria mollissima.

What to bring for your stay in hospital

You need to bring the following items for your stay in hospital:

  • All x-rays or other diagnostic scans and/or blood test results relating to your condition
  • Toiletries if you will be staying overnight
  • Any chronic medication which you are taking. These should be handed to the unit manager of the ward where you will be staying
  • Sleepwear, slippers or shoes if you will be hospitalised for a few days or more
  • Comfortable clothing
  • Reading material
  • A favourite toy or blanket for infants or younger children
  • Nappies and any special toiletries for babies and toddlers, if required.

Please note that you will need to remove all make-up and nail polish prior to anaesthesia, so you should preferably remove any nail polish prior to your admission.

What not to bring to hospital

Cellular phones

Cellular phones are unfortunately easy targets for theft.  You are requested to be considerate towards other patients in the ward as the use of cellular phones could be disruptive to them. Also please note that cellular phones can interfere with certain electronic equipment used in the wards, intensive care units and operating theatres or other specialised facilities.

Money and other valuables

We strongly advise you to leave valuables such as jewellery, cash and credit cards at home, or ask your family to take it home. Some of our hospitals have safety deposit boxes available at reception for use on a first come first served basis.