Sedation for procedures What to expect (1255)

Key points below

What to expect

What is sedation? 

Often times, children are nervous, upset, or have pain before a procedure.  Sometimes medicines are used to help your child feel relaxed, sleepy or to fall asleep before a procedure. This is called sedation. Sedation medicines help soothe and calm your child before and during a procedure. It is also used if your child needs to be still for a long time during a test. 

How is it done?

Most sedation medicine is given in a vein through an IV. Some are given by mouth. This depends on your child and the procedure to be done. While your child is sedated, a nurse will watch your child’s heart rate, breathing and oxygen levels.  Monitors will also be placed on your child. 

Are there any risks? 

Our staff is fully trained and will carefully monitor your child.  As with any procedure there are risks.  

Special preparation

You will be given instructions about when your child must stop eating and drinking before a procedure or surgery.  It is very important to follow these instructions. The procedure may be cancelled if you do not follow the instructions.

What happens during sedation?

The medicine may take up to 20 minutes to work. We may need to use more medicine during the procedure to keep your child comfortable and still.  When sedated, some children will fall asleep, some will be awake but groggy, and some may be fussy and crabby. Often, a child who is sedated will not remember the procedure. Depending on the procedure, you may or may not be able to stay with your child. 

What happens after sedation?


Call your child’s doctor, nurse, or clinic if you have any questions or concerns or if your child has special health care needs that were not covered by this information.