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The University of Chicago Medicine - Comer Children's Hospital

Frequently Asked Questions

This Q & A is designed to give you answers to common questions people have about pediatric sedation and procedures. If you do not find answers to your questions regarding your child's sedation or for more information about any of the services, please call us at (773) 834-8585. 

The sedation team works hand in hand with your child’s ordering physician to assure that she is receiving the proper sedation for the exam or procedure.

The sedation team is made up of doctors and nurses trained in pediatric critical care.

  • Physicians: Fellowship trained and board certified in Pediatric Critical Care
  • Nurses: Experienced pediatric critical care nurses with sedation expertise maintained through an extensive sedation competency process

There is a critical care physician overseeing your child’s care throughout their entire visit to pediatric sedation. Additionally, a critical care nurse will be with your child at all times during sedation induction, throughout the procedure or radiographic scan and recovery process. The nurse will be assessing your child as indicated and documenting vital signs every five minutes. 

The medications used for sedation will relieve anxiety and decrease the discomfort of the procedure to obtain the best examination possible. The medication is tailored for your child’s age, weight, underlying illness or suspected illness and their previous sedation experience. Your child will be closely monitored before, during and after sedation by the sedation team. 

Your child should take all medications as regularly scheduled prior to their sedation appointment. A sedation nurse will call you the night before your child’s planned sedation. If you have any questions please bring them to her attention at that time. 

Activity

  • Your child might be groggy or sleepy for up to six hours. It is best to plan quiet activities, such as reading books, watching TV, or listening to soothing music.
  • Your child should not do anything that requires concentration or coordination. Please, no bike riding, rollerblading, swimming, or studying.
  • Older patients should not drive a car or operate machinery for at least 24 hours.

Diet

  • Return to your child’s regular diet when he or she feels ready.
  • You may go back to breastfeeding after the test.
  • Do not give your child a heavy meal for the next few hours. Some children may have a mildly upset stomach. Please encourage them to drink fluids.

You will receive a call from a sedation nurse the night before your child’s sedation to confirm the appointment and to review the diet instructions.

  • Your child should not have food, formula or milk products six hours prior your appointment.
  • Your child should not have breast milk four hours prior to your appointment
  • You child can have clear liquids up to two hours prior to your appointment. Clear liquids include water, apple juice, Gatorade, Sprite or 7-up.
  • Your child should take all medications as regularly scheduled. Please give with a sip of water or clear fluids.
  • Your child will receive sedation medication for their CT, MRI or procedure. The sedation team closely monitors your child until he or she is ready for discharge. Your child may continue to be sleepy; therefore it is recommended that you plan for a quiet day with minimal physical activities.

Activity

  • Your child might be groggy or sleepy for up to six hours. It is best to plan quiet activities, such as reading books, watching TV, or listening to soothing music.
  • Your child should not do anything that requires concentration or coordination. Please, no bike riding, rollerblading, swimming, or studying.
  • Older patients should not drive a car or operate machinery for at least 24 hours.

Diet

  • Return to your child’s regular diet when he or she feels ready.
  • You may go back to breastfeeding after the test.
  • Do not give your child a heavy meal for the next few hours. Some children may have a mildly upset stomach. Please encourage them to drink fluids.

Importantly: 
Your child can eat any of their favorite foods following recovery of sedation. Your child will be able to return to normal activities within two to four hours of his or her procedure. Most children can return to school the next day.