What is sedation?
Sedation is the use of medication to help your child relax and rest quietly for a test. Sedation and pain medications are given for tests that may be uncomfortable.

About our service
The Pediatric Sedation Service, located in the Pediatric Day Medical Unit, is here to make sure your child is both safe and comfortable during his or her appointment. Our highly trained sedation team consists of doctors, nurses and Child Life specialists, who together determine the best sedation plan for your child.

We use a variety of methods to help your child manage fear and anxiety during the sedation visit including distraction, play and age-appropriate education followed by sedating medications. The type of sedation medication used depends on the type and length of the test and your child’s individual needs.

What should you know before the appointment?
A sedation nurse will contact you to learn more about your child’s medical history and will provide you with eating instructions and arrival time. It is very important for your child’s safety that you follow the eating instructions exactly as given. If eating instructions are not followed your child’s appointment may be cancelled or delayed.

Please be sure that no snacks are left in or around your child’s car seat on the day of your appointment.

It is important that you are on time for the appointment to avoid the possibility of having to reschedule.

Tips to prepare you and your child

  • Take a video tour of our Children’s Hospital and the Pediatric Day Medical Unit.
  • Understand that your appointment can take a minimum of three to four hours.
  • Try to leave younger children at home and limit who comes with you to the visit.
  • Bring items that may distract or comfort your child (favorite toy or blanket).
  • Remain calm and allow your child to explore and ask questions about what to expect. Your child looks to you for comfort.

Day of the appointment

  • A minimum of three to four hours is typical for a sedation visit. This time includes registration, education, preparation, sedation, test and recovery.
  • Arrive at the front entrance of James and Connie Maynard Children’s Hospital, 2102 Stantonsburg Road, Greenville, NC 27834. Valet parking is available under the canopy at the front entrance at no charge to you.
  • Upon entering the hospital a receptionist will direct you to the registration desk. Once registered, you will be escorted to the waiting area where your child can enjoy our interactive play board. A Child Life specialist will come to the waiting area and escort you and your child to the Pediatric Day Medical Unit.

What happens next?

  • A Child Life specialist will begin assessing your child’s coping skills while preparing you and your child for the sedation experience.
  • A doctor will review your child’s medical history and perform a physical examination. The doctor will discuss the sedation process and answer any questions.
  • The doctor will also explain the consent form, which must be signed by a parent/guardian before the procedure begins. If you are not the birth parent of the patient, please bring official court documents for proof of guardianship.
  • An intravenous catheter (IV) will be placed for giving medications used for your child’s sedation. To decrease pain and anxiety associated with IV starts, we have several ways to numb the area where the IV will be placed. Our goal is to make this experience as pain free as possible; however, there are times when numbing is not possible.

What happens during the sedation?
When it is time for your child’s test to start, the doctor will begin giving medication to help your child relax. You will stay until he or she is completely relaxed. You will then be escorted to a waiting area. Your child will be monitored continuously by the team. If you leave the waiting room during the test, please provide a working cell phone number.

What happens after the sedation?
The nurse will watch your child closely until he or she is fully recovered. A member of our team will escort you back to your child as he or she wakes up and recovers. Once fully awake, your child will be offered something to drink and a snack. He or she will be assisted when walking for the first time. Once ready for discharge, written instructions will be discussed and given to you.

What to Expect for Sedation

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Education and Resources for Sedation

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Learn More about Sedation

Vidant Health can connect you to health care professionals to help you understand your condition and guide you through the treatment process. Let’s chat.

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