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Pediatric Sedation: FAQs

Lee Health: Providing Compassionate Care and Treatment Options for Your Child

When your child needs a medical procedure, Lee Health pediatric sedation specialists are here to help keep them calm. Our team helps your to reduce pain and improve your child's experience during medical procedures. 

Pediatric Sedation Near You

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.  

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

  • Midazolam (Brand name: Versed®): this is a medication used to help ease anxiety, helps the child relax and forget.  
  • Fentanyl (Brand name: Sublimaze®): A pain medication used to supplement sedation and relieve pain. It is used as needed to maintain comfort during painful procedures.  
  • Ketamine: A medication used for sedation and pain relief 
  • Propofol: A short acting medication which works quickly resulting in sedation. 
  • Dexmedetomidine (Brand name: Precedex™): A short acting medication used as a sedative, eases anxiety, and provides some pain relief while mimicking a state of sleep. 
  • Nitrous Oxide gas: inhaled medication used for brief, painful procedures 

Did you know that sometimes sedation is not 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 Specialists

A Child Life specialist’s full-time job? Making the hospital a kid-friendly place. 

These child development experts know that children communicate through play and need someone to connect with them on their level by explaining procedures, talking and laughing, and decreasing anxiety and fear.

Research has shown that children who are prepared for medical procedures experience less fear and anxiety, which promotes cooperation during procedures and better long-term adjustment to future medical experiences.

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

What can Child Life use in sedation to help your child?

    • 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 working towards becoming a CertifiedAutism 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. 

Related to Pediatric Sedation

  • Sedation: FAQ

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