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Pediatric Sedation

Our team of pediatric sedation experts helping to minimize the anxiety and pain of medical procedures

Pediatric Sedation Center

Our Pediatric Procedural Sedation Center inside Golisano Children's Hospital of Southwest Florida is a special group of professionals who are experts in providing sedation to our pediatric population. Children who require diagnostic tests, procedures or imaging may need sedation to make them feel as comfortable, pain free and stress free as possible.

The Pediatric Procedural Sedation team includes a multidisciplinary team of professionals specially trained to provide sedation services to our pediatric population. Each member of our team shares the same goal every day: to provide quality, individualized care for your child in order to keep them safe and comfortable. Our team consists of highly trained pediatric intensivists, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, registered nurses, respiratory therapists, and child life specialists.  

We're Here for Your Pediatric Sedation Needs

This service requires a referral/appointment.

SPS Center of Excellence in Pediatric Sedation

We are honored to share that Golisano Children's Hospital of Southwest Florida has been recognized as a Pediatric Sedation Center of Excellence by The Society for Pediatric Sedation® (SPS). Golisano Children’s Hospital joins only 11 other hospitals in the country with this designation and the only one in Southwest Florida. Learn more here!

SPS Center of Excellence

What is pediatric sedation?

Pediatric sedation is a method of using one or more agents to induce a level of sedation to facilitate the successful completion of a diagnostic procedure. The goal is to help reduce awareness, anxiety, pain, and discomfort while maintaining patient safety. This can be done with the use of medications or non-pharmacologic interventions. Your child’s care team will develop a plan during your visit. We take the child’s developmental stage, age, medical history, weight, and type of diagnostic study ordered all into consideration when making this decision.  

Pediatric procedural sedation IS NOT anesthesia. The medications utilized provide various levels of sedation (mild, moderate, or deep) based on the procedure or study being performed.  

Procedures Which May Require Pediatric Sedation

By choosing Golisano’s sedation center services, your family or primary care referring physician guarantees the best possible care for a frightened child from infant to over 18. Our unique, dual approach to children’s health care sets us apart from the competition in Southwest Florida as well as the rest of the nation.

  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) 
  • Computed Tomography (CT) scan 
  • Peripherally inserted central catheter (PICC) placement 
  • Lumbar puncture for diagnostics and/or medication administration   
  • Spinraza injections: therapy for spinal muscular atrophy 
  • Bone marrow aspirate and/or biopsy: provided by the Hematology/Oncology and sedation unit 
  • Hearing evaluations with auditory brainstem response (ABR) 
  • MIBG scan: identify & localize certain types of cancer 
  • Positron emission tomography (PET) scan 
  • Labs draws 
  • Echocardiogram (ECHO) 
  • Electroencephalogram (EEG) 
  • Radiation (offsite) 
  • Eye exams 
  • Various dressing changes for wounds/Wound Care 
  • CT/Ultrasound guided drainage of abscess 
  • Botox Injections (Botulinum toxin): typically used for tight/contracted tendons and ligaments or excessive salivation 
  • Urology procedures including Circumcisions  
  • Various interventional radiology (IR) procedures 

Pediatric Sedation Medications

Sedation medications may be given orally, intranasal, intramuscularly, inhaled, and/or intravenously. Some of the medications used for pediatric sedation may include:

This is a medication used to help ease anxiety, helps the child relax and forget. 

A pain medication used to supplement sedation and relieve pain. It is used as needed to maintain comfort during painful procedures. 

A medication used for sedation and pain relief 

A short acting medication which works quickly resulting in sedation. 

A short acting medication used as a sedative, eases anxiety, and provides some pain relief while mimicking a state of sleep. 

Inhaled medication used for brief, painful procedures 

Pediatric sedation may not always be required.

Depending on the length of the study ordered, alternative, non-pharmacologic interventions may be discussed. Proper preparation, distraction, and play can provide enough comfort and support for your child during a procedure. Our Child Life Specialists may use toys such as bubbles and light spinners, iPads, or movie glasses to make your child laugh and put his or her mind at ease. We personalize each patient’s experience based on their likes and needs!

  • Child Life Services

    Putting the needs of children first by focusing on psychosocial care and emotional well-being

Role of Child Life Specialists in Pediatric Sedation

      • Our child life specialists are actively involved in evaluating children to determine if they may be a candidate to go without sedation.  
      • Golisano Children’s Hospital of SWFL is a Certified Autism Center through professional training and certification with IBCCES 
      • For children requiring a CT scan or MRI, they will be shown a miniature replica of the large machine. 
      • Cinema vision: In our MRI department we have “cinema vision” goggles that allow your child to lay back and watch a movie. The goggles turn the MRI machine into a personal movie theater and enable our patients to sit still for longer periods of time without sedation. We fill our MRI rooms with soothing colors, relaxing wall displays, and music which your child can select.  
      • Vecta Mobile Sensory Station: This exciting, valuable tool features a bubble tube that changes color, an LED projector that casts colorful pictures on the walls or ceiling, and a CD player. The Vecta features fiber optic light strands that the child can play with for additional sensory needs. 
      • iPads: Child Life Specialists also have iPads with games for distraction during procedures and specially made prep books to show first-hand experience of MRIs, CT scans, X-rays, PICC lines, ultrasounds, etc. 
      • Our Sensory Room or Multi-Sensory Environment (MSE) provides a dedicated space where your child can engage their senses in a unique, controlled atmosphere. This room provides relaxation, opportunities for the child to make choices, and enhances sensory stimulation, especially for children with developmental needs. 

Who gets pediatric sedation?

If your child needs a test or procedure that requires them to sit or lay still for a few minutes or several hours, they may need pediatric sedation. Sedation helps your child remain calm and relaxed and can assist us in getting the most accurate results possible. Sedation is also used for procedures or tests which may be uncomfortable or painful.  

Pediatric Sedation Evaluation and Planning

Preparing your child for sedation depends on what works best for your child and family. Our team of specialists including child life will help you tailor your child’s experience to help minimize their stress. You can request a call from our child life specialist to discuss any likes or dislikes your child may have prior to your visit.  

The sedation team led by the pediatric intensivist will develop the sedation plan for your child’s procedure or test which we will discuss thoroughly with you during your visit.  

What to Expect with Pediatric Sedation

Remember, sedation requires fasting before the procedure. Based on the type of scan, test or procedure your child is receiving, you may receive a call or voice message about your arrival times and your child’s fasting times.

The following are some general guidelines:

  • Food (solids): Your child should not eat solids foods until specified time. This time is typically eight (8) hours prior to your instructed arrival time.
  • Breast milk: Children, regardless of age, may have unfortified breast milk until four (4) hours before your arrival time.
  • Formula: Infants greater than 6 months can have formula until six (6) hours before your arrival time.  Infants less than 6 months can have formula until four (4) hours before your arrival time.

It is recommended to take scheduled medications as prescribed prior to arrival with a minimum amount of water. Speak with your child’s provider/physician regarding which medications to continuing taking or hold on day of sedation. Please discuss with the sedation team prior to arrival. 

It is important to arrive 60-90 minutes before your child’s procedure time. The exact time will be given to you when we call to confirm your appointment. This time will allow for registration and pre sedation evaluation.

  • When you arrive, you will be escorted to our Pediatric Sedation Unit. You will meet a team member who will obtain your child’s vital signs and weight. 
  • A registered nurse, nurse practitioner/physician assistant, and our pediatric intensivist will review your child’s history and sedation process with you and obtain consent prior to sedation. During this time, the team will decide on what medications will be used to provide sedation if indicated.
  • A Child Life Specialist may help prepare your child for their medical procedure or test using developmentally appropriate education and visuals
  • You will be provided with an approximate timeframe for your child’s sedation depending on their procedure
  • Your child may require an intravenous (IV) catheter for administration of medications. Modalities available to reduce pain, distress, and discomfort prior to the IV placement will be offered.
  • Recovery following the procedure will last approximately one hour. However, each child is different and recovery times may vary

The sedation team will assess your child’s readiness to go home safely. We will provide you with instructions on what to expect and how to care for your child at home. You will also be provided with a number to call should you have any questions or concerns. 

Call Pediatric Sedation Services at (239) 343-5437

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