Pediatric Sedation Services

Akron Children’s pediatric sedation services are provided by a team of physicians and nurses who specialize in the sedation of children. Sedation is a medicine that makes children more relaxed and safe during medical procedures that may be stressful, painful or require a child to hold still. For painful procedures, the sedation team will offer medicine (analgesia) to help dull the pain. Depending on the level of sedation, a child may be drowsy, relaxed and able to talk, or deeply asleep but able to breathe on his own. Read More...

Sands Troy
Troy Sands, MD
Director, Sedation Services; Pediatric Hospitalist

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Sedation Services - Overview

Sedation is a safe way to keep children comfortable during a short, painful procedure or a long test that requires them to stay perfectly still. Our pediatric sedation team considers your child's age, medical condition and the procedure required to determine whether sedation is necessary. Tests and procedures where pediatric sedation may be appropriate include, but are not limited to:

  • Radiology exams such as MRI, CAT scans, ultrasound, nuclear medicine studies, a special type of X-ray imaging known as fluoroscopy, and direct arthograms of the joints where a contrast material is injected to get a better image of the joints
  • Botox injections to temporarily paralyze muscles or prevent spasms
  • Nerve blocks to decrease inflammation or block pain
  • Lumbar punctures to collect and examine the fluid around the brain and spinal cord
  • Biopsies to obtain tissue samples
  • Hearing tests (brain stem evoked response tests)
  • Removal of sutures or stitches

There are 3 levels of sedation:

  • Minimal – Child receives a single medication to stay relaxed but remains awake and can answer questions.
  • Moderate – Child receives 1 or more medications by IV. Child will be sleepy and can respond to sound or touch but return easily to sleep.
  • Deep – Child receives medication by IV to be put into a deep sleep. Child will not respond to sound or touch but can be awakened by repeated or painful sensations.


What To Expect

Before sedation

A registered nurse from the sedation department will contact you to review your child’s medical and surgical history, and determine if your child is a good candidate for sedation. This is a good time to ask any questions you have about sedation or your child’s test/procedure. We also have a video that provides an overview of pediatric sedation.

Preparing for sedation

The sedation nurse will call 1-2 business days before your child’s test to review your arrival time and give you information about what your child can eat or drink, and when to stop giving foods or liquids before sedation. Please be aware that if pre-sedation instructions are not followed, the test or procedure may need to be rescheduled. Please tell the nurse if your child has been sick within the last week or has received any vaccinations in the last 2 weeks. If you haven't received a phone call within 24 hours of the scheduled procedure, call sedation services at 330-543-4070.

The day of sedation

A parent or legal guardian must come with the child to sign the consent for sedation. If this is not possible, please speak to the nurse to make other arrangements.

The nurse and doctor who will monitor the sedation will review your child’s medical history.

Depending on the test ordered, your child may change into hospital pajamas. The parent who stays with the child in the MRI area must change into scrubs provided by the hospital.

If your child needs an IV, we will use a numbing cream or patch to make your child more comfortable. Monitor patches will be placed on your child’s chest, and a finger or toe sensor will be placed to monitor oxygen levels. All children receive oxygen during sedation.

The nurse and doctor will stay with your child the entire time the sedation medication is given.

After sedation

If appropriate, a clear liquid drink or snack may be given once your child is awake. The IV will be removed after vital signs are stable. The nurse will give you instructions about how to care for your child at home.

We will contact you the next day to see how your child is doing. Test results, if applicable, will be sent to the doctor who ordered them, usually within 24-48 hours.


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Pediatric Sedation Services
our locations

Akron Children's Hospital
Pediatric Sedation Services
214 W. Bowery St.
Akron , OH 44308
Phone: 330-543-4070
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Akron Children's Hospital
Sedation Services
Beeghly Campus
6505 Market St.
Boardman , OH 44512
Phone: 330-746-8100
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