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Sedating Toddlers for Tests

[deleted account] ( 5 moms have responded )

Are there any dangers in having your child sedated during exams? My son was ordered to get a head scan & they told me because he is under 5years old he needs to be sedated. I have read many problems regarding this including death. If anyone has a real insight on this, please let me know,


~Jennifer - posted on 03/24/2009




My son had to have scans done when he was just about 2 years old.  He had to be perfectly still or the scans wouldn't be clear, so he was sedated for them (and sedated for attachment of eeg wires , etc.)  It seemed like he was being put under every couple of weeks for months.  It always frightened me, probably moreso because his neurologist would prescribe the sedative (chloral hydrate)- and make ME administer it.  "We don't do that here" was what I always heard when I had to sedate him.    I was always careful but still, always worried.   We never did have a complication with the sedation.  

My best advice is that if he has to be sedated, find a Dr. willing to administer the sedative him / herself, or have the scans done in a hospital setting.   I wish I had admitted him to the hospital for all this when it happened to us.  I would have felt much more comfortable.


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Hope - posted on 03/25/2009




My son was born without a diaphram.  He was on all sorts of medications when he was a newborn (he was on a ventilator for the first 7 weeks or so of his life).  For the first 2-3 years of his life, we had to go in to get Echocardiograms.  We had to do this 2 times a year and he was sedated everytime for this.  When little ones need a test, scan, or other medical testing, they need to be pefectly still or it could interfere with the outcome of the test.  They put "leads" on them to keep track of thier heart rate, respirations, and oxygen levels (so don't let that scare you).  Today, my son is 7 and has residual affects from all of the times he was sedated. 

Pamela - posted on 03/25/2009




My daughter was sedated when she had to have a cat-scan and she had no problem with it. It is a common practice and I sincerely don't believe that the medical profession would advise the use of an anestetic is it weren't warrented. The chance of death is just like the chance of death if you have your child immunized and you don't think twice about doing that, now do you? It's really the best thing for your son. Having to go into the scanning tube can be very tramatizing and if he's sedated it'll all be over before you both know it and you can go home.

Ashley - posted on 03/24/2009




my son was about 3 wks old when he was put under. he was severely sick with meningitis and they had to do an MRI scan on his brain. he was also put under to have a pick line put in (it's an IV) which is considered major surgery for a baby...he was about a month old when that happened. i know it's super scary but he had no problems with it at all and i'm sure your son will be just fine!...we were able to stay in the room with him until he was put under then we left. good luck and try not to stress too much (i know it's really hard!) and it's soo true what Emily only read about the bad because noone ever reports the good!

Emily - posted on 03/24/2009




My 4 1/2 year old daughter was just sedated yesterday so they could do a full exam of her retinas.  Because of her age, it's just not possible to keep her self and her eyes still for a through exam and I am so glad we did it because they found a few tears in each eye that they hadn't seen in the office exam.  They were able to repair them and that probably saved her sight!!  They hooked her up to all sorts of monitors and had me hold her hand while they put her under.  The only problem she had was she threw up when she woke up, but I have the same reaction to anesthesia, so maybe request a anti-nausia medication. 

I'm sure your son will have absolutely no problems and it's much better knowing he got the proper results from a test, then to wonder what if, because he never had it done.  You only read about the bad because no one ever reports the good.   

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