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Pediatric Sedation Clinic


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

Our highly skilled team includes doctors and nurses who specialize in sedation. We are family-focused and strive to deliver the highest caliber of care to every patient coming through our doors.

Caring for Your Child

Your child's procedure will be done under procedural sedation, which means that we will give your child medication that causes drowsiness. The sedation medicine will be administered through an IV or a nasal spray and if you're comfortable, we might ask you to hold your child if we insert an IV.

After your child is sleepy, we'll monitor your child's heart rate, blood pressure and oxygen levels.

Our staff will stay with your child for the entire scan or procedure.

After the Scan or Procedure

Depending on the type of scan or procedure, 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. 

What to Expect

This video offers tips to help you prepare your child for an MRI procedure.

Frequently Asked Questions

Preparing 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.

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.

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