Scheduling and Appointments

Pediatric Sedation

Scheduling and Appointments

Contact Information

(608) 262-4402



First floor of American Family Children's Hospital


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Pediatric Sedation

Types of Sedation

Pediatric sedation at American Family Children's Hospital in Madison, Wisconsin, offers patients the opportunity to receive medications to alleviate both pain and fear, focusing on each child's individual needs and desires, prior to each medical procedure.
Why does my child need sedation?
Typical procedures for which children are sedated include MRI scans, CT scans or other procedures that are not painful but require a child to hold still for a long period of time. Other procedures that require sedation include painful procedures such as spinal taps or catheter placement or removal.

A young patient watches a video on an iPad as she is sedated.Sedation may not be performed and your child may be referred to general anesthesia if you child has a history of:

  • Sleep apnea or central apnea
  • Facial disorders that distort the airway
  • Uncontrolled seizures
  • Uncontrolled gastric reflux disease
  • Increased pressure on the brain
Before The Appointment
  • Your child's health history is reviewed to determine if it is safe for the child to be sedated.
  • If it is determined that it is safe to sedate a child, a scheduler will call to provide information about arrival times and eating guidelines. This information will also be mailed to families.

    Food Hours of Fasting Required
    Clear liquids (water, fruit juice without pulp) 2
    Breast milk 2 to 4 depending on mother’s diet
    Formula or light meal (no fat)  6
    Full meal 8

  • Bring your child to the Sedation Clinic up to 1½ hours before the procedure time.
  • The sedation may not be performed if your child is sick with a cough, cold, fever or vomiting. If your child has any of these symptoms please call the Sedation Clinic (608) 262-4402 to inform the providers and discuss a safe sedation plan.

During the Appointment

  • When your child arrives in the clinic, if an IV is needed, clinicians place a numbing cream on appropriate body sites.
  • Children are examined and a careful health history is obtained to determine if it is safe to perform sedation. (If a child has a current cough, cold, fever, or is vomiting, clinicians may not be able to proceed with the sedation that day.)
  • If it is safe to proceed, providers will discuss the choices for sedation with parents and children, if age-appropriate.
  • Parents are allowed to remain with their child at all times during the sedation. (On rare occasions some exceptions may be made.)
  • Duration depends on the procedure being done.

After the Appointment

  • Children are permitted to drink fluids after awakening.
  • Once they are back to a baseline status for at least 30 minutes, they may leave the Sedation Clinic.
  • Further instructions will be given from the nurse upon discharge. 
Who We Are
The one-on-one care provided by the sedation program team - including physicians, sedation nurses and nurse practitioners - is both compassionate and highly skillful, and has made a positive impact on the treatment course and lives of numerous children and families. Our pediatric sedation staff provide careful screening and continuous monitoring of each patient before, during and after each sedation.