Pediatric Sedation

Sedation is often used if your child has to go through a frightening or painful procedure. The sedation helps minimize risk and helps our physician get the best results from the procedure or test. At Gundersen Health System, a specially trained team provides the sedation that is best for the child.

Sedation is often used in the outpatient (clinic) setting where the child will go home after the procedure. Sedation is used for procedures and tests including:

  • Urinary catheterizations for X-ray procedures
  • MRI, CT, or Nuclear Medicine scans
  • Echocardiograms
  • Botox injections for spasticity

There is a common misconception that sedation is the same as anesthesia, but unlike with anesthesia, patients breathe on their own.

There are different levels of sedation depending on the procedure:

  • Mild or light sedation: Child could still be awake, but seem more relaxed or silly.
  • Deeper level of sedation: Child could be asleep or falling asleep, but still respond a bit if there is a loud noise or if something hurts.

The nurse or doctor will discuss the level of sedation with you, and address any questions you may have.

The sedation nurse uses monitoring equipment to observe your child's heart rate, breathing and oxygen levels during the sedation. You are generally allowed to be with your child while they are being sedated. You may or may not be able to be with them while they are having the procedure or test.

For your child's safety, the sedation team will keep them in the sedation area after the procedure until most of the sedation medication has worn off. You should plan to spend several hours in the sedation area. Your child may be off balance or out of sorts for the rest of the day, so you should plan to be with them until they goes to bed for the night.

Love + Medicine

Every day, Gundersen Health System staff deliver great medicine plus a little something extra—we call it Love + Medicine.

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