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Okee in Medical Imaging

Sedation

  • What is sedation?

    Sedation is a type of medicine that makes you feel calm and relaxed and it may make you fall asleep. Sometimes you may also forget things that happened while the medicine was working. It’s important to fast for 2 hours before having sedation – that means no food or drink.

    Will I need Sedation?

    The person taking your pictures, together with your mum or dad, will decide if you need sedation.

    Sedation may help you feel sleepy or relaxed and it may make you fall asleep. It’s important not to eat or drink for 2 hours before you are given the sedation medicine.

    What you need to know

    Before you have sedation, you will need to fast for 2 hours. That means no food or drink (including water). You may need to come into the hospital before your appointment time where you will meet a nurse who will weigh you, check your temperature and your pulse.

    Oral medicine

    Most sedation medicines are just a little drink. These medicines usually take about half an hour to work. During this time it’s good to have a lie down and relax while it starts to work. If you feel like going to sleep you can do that too!

    Oral sedation

    Mask

    This is what the mask looks like. This type of sedation is called ‘Nitrous Oxide’ or ‘happy gas’. The great thing about happy gas is that it starts working right away and wears off when you stop breathing it in. The nurse may ask you to choose a nice smell (like strawberry or chocolate) to put inside your mask. Then all you need to do is breathe normally into the mask and the gas will make you feel really relaxed.

    GA mask

    After your pictures

    After you’ve had sedation you’ll need to have a nurse look after you until you are ready to go home.

    What parents need to know

    How do I know if my child is going to have sedation?

    If your child is having sedation for their scans it will be noted on their appointment letter. This decision may not be made until staff have assessed your child on the day of their appointment.

    What should I do if I think my child needs sedation during their scan?

    There are a number of reasons why your child may benefit from sedation. These include (but are not limited to) the scan type, anxiety, age or developmental delay. Sedation is only suitable for some scans and age groups.

    If you feel that your child will require sedation and this has not been booked, please contact Medical Imaging reception on 03 9345 5255 and ask to speak to a nurse. Please note that sedation is generally not appropriate for X-rays, OPG and CEPH scans or fluoroscopy appointments.

    What do I need to do before the appointment?

    If sedation has been booked, one of the nurses will contact you the day before to discuss the appointment and answer any questions you might have.

    Please be aware that sedation is not a general anaesthetic. Your child is breathing on their own and is being monitored, by a nurse, from the time the sedation is given until they are awake and eating/feeding.

    If your child requires sedation, they must be fasted for 2 hours prior to it being administered. Please follow the fasting guidelines on your appointment letter. It is a good idea to bring some quiet activities that don’t take up too much space to keep your child busy while waiting for their appointment.

    As the medicine works better if your child is already tired when you arrive, please try to keep them awake until they are given sedation.

    What should I tell my child?

    It is important to be honest but considerate of your child’s developmental level. It is a good idea to start by explaining to your child why they need the scan. Explain that having sedation will make sure they stay safe, comfortable and still, allowing the people at the hospital to get the best pictures. Children over the age of 5 generally cope best when they are informed of their procedure the week prior, and are given the opportunity to process the information and ask questions. Children under 5 are best told about their appointment the day before. You are encouraged to explore the Okee app games and to discuss the content with your child before their appointment.

    How long does a sedation appointment take?

    You will be required to arrive 1 hour prior to your appointment time. After imaging, your child will be monitored by nursing staff until they are ready to go home. Given the time required, it is not suitable to bring siblings to the appointment.

    My child has an awake scan booked. Can they have sedation on this day if they need it?

    This may be possible, but will be dependent on a number of factors including fasting time required, and the availability of imaging equipment and nursing staff.

    For any other questions about your child’s appointment, please contact Medical Imaging reception on 03 9345 5255.