General Anesthesia for Radiology Procedures

Why Anesthesia?

  • It is important that your child is comfortable and stays very still during the test to ensure the most accurate results possible.

What is Anesthesia?

  • General Anesthesia makes your child’s entire body go to sleep and is needed for certain tests and procedures so that your child’s bodily reactions will be completely relaxed.
  • With anesthesia, your child will not feel anything during the test or remember it afterwards.
  • An anesthesiologist specialized in working with children will be giving the anesthesia to help your child fall asleep.
  • Please make sure to provide the medical team with the correct medical history, current medications and any known allergies.
  • General anesthesia is given by an “IV” (intravenous) catheter.
    • IV information:
      • An IV is a soft, plastic straw placed into the vein in the hand, arm or foot.
      • If applicable, numbing medicine may be used to help your child feel as comfortable as possible during the IV placement.
    • How anesthesia is received is based off of the child’s age, weight, and stress level. Please inform our hospital if your child has any special needs or developmental delays so that we can do our best to meet the unique needs of your child.
  • Use the chart below as a general rule of thumb for receiving anesthesia at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital.
 

Administration of General Anesthesia

Children under the age of 7 and with Special needs Children over the age of 7
Step 1: Preparation
  • The anesthesiologist will perform an evaluation of your child’s medical needs and depending on the outcome of this evaluation; some children may receive a medication to help calm the child while he/she is still in the exam room, before receiving anesthesia.
 
Step 2: Anesthesia
  • Next, your child will be taken to another room known as the induction room to receive the anesthesia.
  • The clinicians will place a mask that smells like bubblegum on your child’s face. This mask is filled with a gas that will make your child sleepy.
  • Once your child is asleep, an IV will be placed for the general anesthesia.
  • Your child will not remember anything after the mask has been placed to help him/her sleep.
 
Step 1: Preparation
  • For children older the age of 7, the IV is placed in the exam room while still awake.
  • If your child typically becomes anxious during medical procedures, please share this with the medical team so that they can explore options to accommodate your child’s needs.  
 
Step 2: Anesthesia
  • Next, your child will be taken to another room known as the induction room to receive the anesthesia.
  • The clinicians will place a mask that smells like bubblegum on your child’s face. The mask is filled with a gas that will make your child sleepy.
  • Once your child is asleep, an IV will be placed for the general anesthesia.
  • Una vez que su niño(a) se duerme, él o ella recibirá la anestesia a través del IV.
  • Your child will not remember anything after the mask has been placed to help him/her sleep.
 
 

Rules for General Anesthesia

When anesthesia is needed, there are important rules for eating and drinking that must be followed in the hours before the procedure. Prior to the exam date, you will receive a phone call from a Nicklaus Children’s Hospital staff member to discuss proper eating and drinking instructions. 
 

Sedation Eating and Drinking Instructions Per Age Groups:

Infants under
12 months:

  • Formula fed babies may be given formula up to 6 hours before the scheduled appointment time
  • Breastfed babies may nurse up to 4 hours before the scheduled appointment time,
Children older than
12 months:
  • After midnight the night before the scheduled appointment time, do not give any solid food or non-clear liquids.
  • This includes: milk, formula, juice with pulp, coffee and chewing gum or candy.
All Children:
 
  • Up to 2 hours before the scheduled appointment time, give only clear liquids. 
  • Clear liquids include: water, Pedialite, Kool-Aid, and juices you can see through, such as apple or white grape juice.
  • In the 2 hours before the scheduled arrival time, refrain from giving your child anything to eat or drink.
  • Your child should not have anything by mouth in the 2 hours before the test—not even a sip of water, gum or a mint.  
  • If your child takes daily medication, you may give it unless specifically told not to do so by your child’s doctor or the scheduling nurse.
 

What to Expect the Day of the Exam

Step 1: Getting Ready
  • From the waiting room, you will be brought to an exam room (the “Get Ready Room”) where a nurse will check your child’s vital signs and ask general questions about your child’s health and known allergies.
    • Please Note: We encourage you to bring your child’s favorite toy or activity to provide distraction while in the exam room (the “get ready room”).
  • Soon after, the anesthesiologist will assess your child for anesthesia. If your child has a cold, fever, is congested, or has been vomiting, your child may not be sedated.
  • Once your child has been approved for anesthesia, the doctor will decide the best type of anesthesia medication for your child.
 
Step 2: Falling Asleep
  • Please keep in mind that the team at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital is available to meet you and your child’s unique needs. Depending on the case, caregivers may or may not be present with the child when falling asleep. Please ask for more information in regards to this the day of the appointment.
  • During this time, your child will be closely monitored with:
    • EKG leads: stickers on the chest to measure the heartbeat.
    • A blood pressure cuff: to measure how fast or slow blood is flowing through the body.
    • A pulse-oximeter sticker: a sticker placed on the finger to measure how much oxygen is in the blood.
  • Your child will then need to breathe into a plastic, bubble gum smelling mask, which is placed over the nose and mouth, to help the child fall asleep.
  • Your child will not remember anything after he/she falls asleep.
 
Step 3: Recovery Room
  • After the procedure, your child will still be sleeping from the anesthesia.
  • The child will be brought to a post anesthesia care room where he/she will be monitored by a nurse until the anesthesia has almost worn off.
  • Once the child begins to wake up, a staff member will bring the parent to a room to be with the child while he or she wakes up.  
  • Each child wakes up differently and it is normal to wake up feeling emotional and tired after sedation.
  • It can take approximately 1 hour for your child to wake up. During that hour, he or she will need to drink clear liquids, such as apple juice, and stay awake.
  • Your child will be discharged to go home once he/she is able to hold down liquids and is able to stay awake.
 
Step 4: Results
  • Your doctor will receive the test results within 48-72 business hours. Please contact your doctor to obtain the test results.