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Deep Sedation in Children

Medically reviewed by Last updated on May 6, 2024.

What do I need to know about deep sedation?

Deep sedation is medicine given during procedures or treatments to keep your child asleep and comfortable. It will also prevent him or her from remembering the procedure or treatment. Your child cannot be easily woken up during deep sedation, and he or she may need help to breathe.

Why is deep sedation given?

Deep sedation may be used to help your child's body heal after an injury or illness. It may be used to relax your child if he or she is on a ventilator. It may also be used during painful procedures such as bandage changes, repair of a laceration, or drainage of an abscess. Deep sedation may be given to prevent your child from moving during a test, such as a lumbar puncture or bone biopsy. Deep sedation can be given as an IV injection, a shot, a pill, or through an inhaled solution.

How do I prepare my child for deep sedation?

Your child's provider will talk to you about how to prepare your child for deep sedation. He or she may tell you not to give your child anything to eat or drink for 8 hours before deep sedation. You can breastfeed your child up until 4 hours before deep sedation. You can give your child clear liquids up until 2 hours before deep sedation. Tell your child's provider if he or she has any allergies, breathing problems, or heart problems. Bring another adult with you on the ride home, to monitor your child for problems after sedation. A second adult can ride with your child in the backseat while you drive.

What will happen during deep sedation?

What will happen after deep sedation?

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your child's care. Learn about your child's health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your child's healthcare providers to decide what care you want for your child. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.