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Moderate Sedation In Children


What do I need to know about moderate sedation?

Moderate sedation, or conscious sedation, is medicine used during procedures to help your child feel relaxed and calm. He will be awake and able to follow directions without anxiety or pain. He will remember little to none of the procedure. Moderate sedation can be used for procedures such as wound repair, fracture reduction, or a lumbar puncture. The medicine is given as a pill, shot, inhaled solution, or injection through an IV.

What will happen during moderate sedation?

Your child may be asked to speak or move around during the procedure. Your child's healthcare provider may ask him questions that check his memory. He may check your child's pupils, blood pressure, and heart rate.

What will happen after moderate sedation?

Your child will be taken to a room to rest until he is fully awake. He will be monitored closely for any problems. He may not remember what happened during the procedure. Do not let your child get out of bed until his healthcare provider says it is okay. Your child will then be able to go home or be taken to his hospital room. He may need any of the following as the sedation wears off:

  • Extra oxygen may be needed if your child's blood oxygen level is lower than it should be. Your child may get oxygen through a mask placed over his nose and mouth or through tubes placed in his nostrils. Ask a healthcare provider before you take off the mask or oxygen tubing.
  • A pulse oximeter measures the amount of oxygen in your child's blood. A cord with a clip or sticky strip is placed on his finger, ear, or toe. The other end of the cord is hooked to a machine. An alarm will sound if your child's oxygen level is low.
  • A heart monitor , or EKG, will record your child's heart's electrical activity.

What are the risks of moderate sedation?

  • Your child may get a headache or nausea from the medicine. He may not remember the recent past. He may be restless, irritable, or confused. Your child may have nightmares or hallucinations. He may have a seizure.
  • Too much medicine can cause deep sedation. Deep sedation may cause your child to need help to breathe. His heart rate may slow down. Mucus or saliva can get into his airways and make it hard for him to breathe.

When should I contact my child's healthcare provider?

  • Your child has a fever, cough, or headache.
  • Your child has an upset stomach or feels like vomiting.
  • You have questions or concerns about your child's condition or care.

When should I seek immediate care or call 911?

  • Your child has trouble breathing.
  • Your child has a seizure.
  • Your child cannot talk, move, or see normally within a few hours of the procedure.

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 caregivers 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.

© 2015 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or Truven Health Analytics.