Procedural sedation is the administration of medicines to reduce awareness, anxiety, pain and discomfort during medical care. It does not interfere with breathing or with airway protective reflexes such as coughing. Sedation can range from light to deep. In light sedation, patients are awake, talking and aware of what is going on. In deep sedation, patients are asleep but breathing on their own.
Your child may need to be sedated before undergoing a variety of tests and procedures, including:
Procedural sedation may be used while your child is undergoing a diagnostic or therapeutic procedure at Riley at IU Health. The goal is to keep the experience as stress-free and pain-free as possible.
A sedation team that is led by a pediatric intensivist and includes a sedation nurse develops an overall sedation plan for your child's procedure or treatment. The intensivist is a doctor who will administer medicine to keep your child comfortable throughout the procedure while monitoring vital signs to ensure his or her well-being. Patients must be referred to intensivists for sedation from another subspecialty. The team guides you and your child through the visit, and the same staff members are with your child throughout the experience.
A team member will discuss any potential side effects with you when the sedation is scheduled. You receive information and instructions at several points, including at the time the procedure is scheduled, at admission and before the administration of any medicine.
The team uses medicines and delivery methods that allow your child to have a more natural sleep state, so general anesthesia and a breathing device are typically not needed. In most cases, medicines are administered through an intravenous (IV) line, but they can also be given orally (by mouth) or intranasally (through the nose).
Once your child is awake and back to a baseline (normal) state, he or she typically is ready for discharge with detailed instructions for the caregiver.
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