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Pediatric Sedation

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Pediatric Sedation

For some children, being a patient in a hospital can cause anxiety which can sometimes interfere with your child’s care. If your child is stressed, even for a minor procedure or test, we can offer safe sedation to put them at ease.

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Pediatric Sedation Services performs most no intubation, intravenous sedations on outpatients who are having an elective test or minor surgical procedure. The team is made up of Pediatric Critical Care Specialists who are specially trained to provide sedation to children.

Why Sedation

We offer no intubation sedation services because we want your child to be at ease when they are receiving their care from us and we want you to feel that they are comfortable and safe. We offer sedation services for procedures such as:

  • Radiological Tests (such as Pediatric Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
  • Pediatric Computed Tomography (CT) scans 
  • Nuclear Medicine Studies
  • Invasive diagnostic procedures

Sedation also helps to:

  • Assure parents that their children will be safely cared for.
  • Assist medical personnel in accurately completing a test or procedure.
  • Supply timely diagnostic information to referring physicians.

Safety is the primary concern when administering sedation to young children. The following guidelines address key factors in preparing your child for sedation.

Acute illness

If your child is acutely ill, he/she should not be sedated.  If your child has a fever, cold, pneumonia, vomiting, wheezing or diarrhea two days before the day of the test, he/she should be rescheduled. Please contact your referring physician.

Age limits

The sedation services at CHOG are able to provide care for most patients, your child may require a higher level of care if they were premature, and have not reached the age of their first birthday, or if your child has complex medical concerns.   If a higher level of care is warranted, they will require a pediatric anesthesiologist for their sedation or general anesthesia services.  

Chronic illness

The Pediatric Sedation Service performs most of the sedations on outpatients who are having an elective procedure. Some children may not be suitable candidates for this type of sedation because of chronic illness. Examples would include children who are oxygen dependent, those with chronic respiratory problems, or those with congenital heart disease.

Eating/Drinking Safety Guidelines
In order to sedate your child safely, it is very important that you strictly follow the rules regarding fasting. Failure to follow these guidelines puts the patient at risk of aspiration and is the most common reason tests are canceled.

Ingested Material Minimum Fasting Period

  • Clear liquids - 2 hours
  • Breast milk Infant formula - 4 hours
  • Non-human milk - 6 hours
  • Light meal (e.g., toast, juice) - 6 hours
  • Heavy meal (e.g., meals with meat and/or fried foods, chocolate) - 8 hours

Routine Medications
Children with special medication needs (such as those that need anti-seizure medications) may take their medicine two hours prior to test with a small sip of water.

Before the Test

You will receive a phone call the week before your child’s procedure is scheduled. This will address any concerns you may have a prepare you and your child for a successful and safe sedation.

On the Day of the Test 

 

  1. Report to Pediatric Radiology on the second floor of the Children's Hospital of Georgia one hour before your child’s scheduled test time. This allows time for registration and pre-sedation preparation.
  2. The pediatric sedation team will meet with you and your child to begin the evaluation. This includes:
    1. Review of your child’s health history
    2. Giving your child a limited physical exam
    3. Discussing the sedation process
  3. The IV will be placed
  4. There will be a review of the consent form and the opportunity to ask questions
  5. The child and pediatric sedation team will then proceed to the radiology area where the test will be performed. During the procedure the parent will be able to wait in a comfortable waiting area.
  6. At the conclusion of the test, the sedating agent will be discontinued, and the child will be transported to the recovery area and monitored until he/she is ready for a safe discharge home.

Discharge to Home

In most cases, pediatric patients meet criteria for discharge within an hour after sedation.

An overnight stay is recommended for full-term infants less than one month of age and premature infants who are less than 60 weeks post conception.

The nurse assisting with the pre-sedation evaluation will provide more specific guidelines based on patient safety standards.

Questions

We are available to answer any questions you have about the guidelines, as well as any other questions you might have about your child’s procedure. 

If you need any further information concerning your child’s sedation procedure, please do not hesitate to contact us.

 

Our Providers

Augusta University Medical Center specialists provide care and support throughout your entire healthcare journey.

Arthur, Mary E., MD

Pediatric Anesthesiology

Byrd, Heather S., MD

Pediatric Anesthesiology

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