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University of New Mexico Health | Pediatric Sedation Clinic


When your child undergoes sedation for an MRI or other painful procedure, the Pediatric Sedation Clinic at the UNM Children's Hospital in Albuquerque is here to help ease the discomfort.

Our highly skilled staff is dedicated, family-focused and strives to deliver the highest caliber of care to every patient coming through our doors.

What to expect at the appointment

Your child's sedation medicine will be administered through an IV or a nasal spray. If you are comfortable, we may ask you to hold your child if we insert an IV.

After your child is sleepy, we'll take your child to the scanning area, where we'll monitor your child's heart rate, blood pressure and oxygen levels.

You can go with your child to the scanning area, and wait in the lobby until your child's scan is complete. Our staff will stay with your child for the whole scan.

After the Scan

Depending on the type of scan, it will take some time for your child to wake up. A nurse will watch your child until fully awake.

  • After magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), it may take 30 to 90 minutes for your child to wake up.
  • After a computed tomography (CT) scan, it may take 15-30 minutes for your child to wake up.
  • After a renogram, it may take 45 minutes to an hour for your child to wake up.

We will watch your child after waking for an additional one to three hours.

Questions about your appointment?

Call 505-272-0404 if you have questions or get lost in the hospital.

To cancel or reschedule an appointment, call 505-272-4545.

We’re located on the fifth floor of the Bill and Barbara Richardson Pavilion (BBRP) at UNM Hospital, 2211 Lomas Blvd. NE.

Patients should check in for their visit at the Pediatric Infusion Unit, on the sixth floor of the BBRP. Remember to bring your child’s insurance information and co-pay.

Frequently Asked Questions

What you can do to prepare for your child's appointment. 

Make sure your child does not wear jewelry or clothing with metal, such as snaps, buttons, zippers, etc.

Having food or fluids can make your child throw up when they’re asleep for the scan. This can make food or fluids go into the lungs.

If you don’t follow the instructions, we may have to cancel the scan and reschedule it for another day.

Apple juice, Pedialyte, water.

If your child gets a cold, a fever or is feeling sick the week of the scan, call our office so we can determine whether to reschedule the appointment.

After you check in, a nurse and a Child Life Specialist will take you to the room where your child will get prepped for the sedation medicine (to make them sleepy).

The Child Life specialist can show your child pictures of the scanning machine. They’ll let your child listen to the machine’s noises. They can also help your child feel less scared about the scan by teaching coping skills. You can expect to be at the hospital for four to six hours.

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