To help your child relax and rest quietly during their procedure.

The Pediatric Sedation Service, located in the Pediatric Day Medical Unit, is here to make sure your child is both safe and comfortable during his or her test or procedure. Our highly trained sedation team consists of doctors, nurses and child life specialists, who together with you, determine the best sedation plan for your child.

We use varying methods to help your child manage fear and anxiety during the sedation visit, including diversion or distraction, play, and age-appropriate education, followed by sedation medications. The type of medication will depend on the type and length of testing and your child’s unique needs.

Phone Number: 252-744-5871
Hours: Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.
How to Make an Appointment: New patients require a referral

What to Expect

Sedation uses medication to help your child relax and rest quietly for a test. Sedation and pain medications are suggested and administered for tests that may be uncomfortable.

  • A minimum of three to four hours is typical for a sedation visit. This time includes registration, education, preparation, sedation, testing/procedure, and recovery.
  • Leave younger children at home, and limit who comes with you.
  • Bring items that may distract or comfort your child (favorite toy or blanket).
  • Remain calm and allow your child to explore and ask questions about what to expect. Your child looks to you for comfort.
  • Arrive at the front entrance of ECU Health Maynard Children’s Hospital.
  • Upon entering the hospital, a receptionist will direct you to the registration desk. Once registered, you will be escorted to the waiting area where your child can enjoy our interactive play board. A child life specialist will come to the waiting area and escort you and your child to the Pediatric Day Medical Unit.

A sedation nurse will contact you to learn more about your child’s medical history and will provide eating instructions and arrival time. For your child’s health and safety, it is very important to follow the eating instructions exactly as given. Be sure no snacks are left in or around your child’s car seat on the day of your appointment. If instructions are not followed, your child’s test or procedure may be cancelled or delayed.

To avoid the need to reschedule, it is also important that you arrive on time for the appointment.

Our child life specialist will assess your child’s coping skills while preparing you both for the sedation experience. A sedation physician will review your child’s medical history, perform an exam, and discuss and answer questions about the sedation process. After he/she reviews the consent form, you (a parent or guardian) will be asked to sign it before the procedure begins. If you are not the birth parent, bring official court documents for proof of guardianship.

When it is time for your child’s test, our sedation physician will give medication to help your child relax. An intravenous catheter (IV) will be placed for administering sedation medications. To decrease pain and anxiety, we have several ways to numb the area for IV insertion. Our goal is to make this experience as pain-free as possible; however, there are times when numbing is not possible.

You will stay with your child until he or she is completely relaxed. You will then proceed to a waiting area. If you leave during the test, please provide a working cell phone number. Your child will be monitored continuously and attentively by our team.

The nurse will watch your child closely until he or she is fully recovered. A member of our team will bring you back to be with your child as he or she wakes up and recovers. Once fully awake, your child will be offered a drink and a snack and will be assisted when walking for the first time. Once ready for discharge, written care instructions will be discussed with and provided to you.