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Risks of sedating infants

One or two days before your child’s appointment, you should receive a phone call from one of the sedation nurses to go over details of the test day with you.If you do not receive a call, you may call 412-692-9524, from 7 a.m.–8 p.m., to speak with a nurse. The night before the test, your child may have a normal dinner.

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Depending on the test, equipment may be used to isolate the body part being scanned.A staff member will escort you to the exam room where he or she will review the health history form with you and do a brief examination of your child.The Physician’s Assistant (PA) or Certified Registered Nurse Practitioner (CRNP) will consult with the attending pediatric sedationist to decide which sedation medication your child will receive.For this reason, NO metal that could come loose or fly free is permitted in the room.As for metal within the body, you and your child will be carefully evaluated to be sure that it is safe to go into the room.If the doctors decide that your child needs a different type of sedation, your child's test may need to be rescheduled for a different day.

If your child has a bad cold or congestion, or has been vomiting or having reflux, he or she may not be able to be given sedation medication.

Children ages 4 and up may be able to have the test without sedation, depending on their developmental status, the length of the test and their ability to remain still for the whole test.

Most older children are able to lie still during the MRI without sedation by watching a movie or listening to music with a pair of headphones. The MRI unit is basically a very large, tube-shaped magnet through which the computer takes detailed pictures of the body.

The nurse assigned to your child will take all vital signs and insert an intravenous (IV) line if needed for sedation or contrast (a type of medicine that helps in taking the pictures).

Babies under 1 year of age may receive oral medication rather than IV medication for sedation, but will need an IV if contrast is to be given.

What your child eats and drinks in the hours before the test is based upon the time of day the test is scheduled.