Pediatric Sedation

The Pediatric Sedation Service at UMC Children’s Hospital is dedicated to making the experience as comfortable and pleasant as possible for you and your child. This information will help you prepare you and your child for sedation.

What is Sedation?

Your child may have distress or pain during the procedure or test and may not hold still enough for the procedure to be safely performed. Sedation involves administration of medications to facilitate the procedure. Sedation is used to relieve anxiety and discomfort and to allow procedures that require little or no movement to be safely performed. Some procedures that require sedation may also necessitate the use of analgesics to decrease pain associated with the procedure. Medications used for sedation are usually given as an injection or by mouth. Your child may need a catheter placed in the vein (IV) so that medications for sedation can be given in a controlled and predictable way. Your child will be carefully monitored during and after the procedure.

Preparing for the Procedure

It is very important that your child has nothing to eat or drink several hours before sedation. This will decrease the risk of vomiting and getting food or liquid into the lungs. If your child is scheduled to take any medications during this time, you may give the medicine with a teaspoon of water. If your child requires breathing treatments, give the treatment before coming to the hospital. Bring all medications and inhalers your child uses with you.

You will be called by a doctor or nurse before the procedure to discuss medications, obtain a health history to help determine how best to sedate your child and answer any questions that you may have.

On the Day of the Procedure

You will be asked to come to the hospital an hour or so prior to the procedure. Sedation will be given to your child by a pediatric intensivist and a trained nurse. They will explain the procedure for sedation and the risks before giving sedation to your child. You need to understand the reasons for sedation and the risks. As the parent or caregiver you must give us consent. You may stay with your child while the medication for sedation is given. Once your child is relaxed and sleepy, you will be requested to leave the room so that we can direct our attention to your child. Once the procedure is completed, you can wait at your child’s side as he or she wakes up.

Recovery time varies depending on the medication used, the procedure and the patient. For your child’s safety, you will not be allowed to take him or her home until the sedation has worn off.

Sometimes, as your child wakes up, they may have some agitation, hallucinations or nightmares. These sensations usually improve if you comfort your child until they are fully awake.

Care of Your Child After Sedation

Sometimes the delayed effects of the medicines may make your child a bit confused, sleepy or clumsy. You need to be extra careful in caring for and supervising your child for the next 24 hours. Sometimes children may sleep more because of the sedation medicine. If your child falls asleep in the car seat, watch them to make sure that they do not have any difficulty breathing. DO NOT leave your child alone in the car. Observe your child closely especially when he or she is walking, crawling or eating. Older children should avoid riding a bike, skateboarding, swimming or similar activities that require coordination and concentration for the next 24 hours. Unsupervised bathing or use of electrical devices or other possibly dangerous items should not be permitted for the next 8 hours.

When to Call the Doctor

Please call the Pediatric Sedation and Outpatient Services at UMC Children’s Hospital
at 702-383-2089 any time if you have any questions or your child has any of the following:

Prior to the Procedure: Fever, stuffy or runny nose, cough or vomiting. We may need to reschedule the procedure

Following the Procedure: Difficulty in breathing, changes in skin color, is difficult to wake up or has frequent vomiting