Your Radiologist Explains Pediatric Sedation and Anesthesia
Welcome to Radiology Info dot org!
Hello, I’m Dr. Cynthia Rigsby, a pediatric radiologist at Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago, Illinois. I’d like to talk with you about pediatric sedation and anesthesia.
Doctors use sedation and anesthesia to prevent pain and keep the patient still during a procedure or exam. Sedation usually causes a light level of sleep. Anesthesia – which is often deeper – is frequently used for painful or longer procedures.
To obtain the highest quality images, most radiologic exams require patients to lie very still and sometimes breath hold to eliminate motion. If a child cannot comply with these requirements, some form of sedation may be needed.
Pediatric M-R-I, C-T and nuclear medicine may only require sedation while more invasive interventional radiology procedures usually require anesthesia.
The doctor will determine what level of sedation is most appropriate for your child. It may be administered orally, intravenously or by injection, and inhaled gases may be used to achieve an appropriate level of anesthesia.
Not every exam requires sedation. X-ray, ultrasound and fluoroscopy exams typically do not require sedation. If your child has been or is becoming ill and sedation is planned, talk to your doctor about rescheduling the exam.
Your radiologist can answer any questions you may have about what sedation will be used and why it is necessary. They can also explain how to prepare your child, including whether or not your child should refrain from eating, drinking liquid or taking medication prior to the exam. While the procedure itself may not take long, the type and amount of sedation used will determine the recovery time, which may vary from just a few minutes to several hours.
You may be concerned that sedation adds a level of complexity to your child’s procedure. However, it’s important to consider the likelihood of benefit to your child’s health. Remember, sedation may help obtain the highest quality images, and the benefit of an accurate diagnosis far outweighs any risk.
To learn more about pediatric sedation and anesthesia, visit Radiology Info dot org.