If a child is 4 years old or less, he / she may require sedation for the echocardiogram. A mild sleeping medication is used that is usually taken by mouth.
Before a child can be sedated he must have an empty stomach. These guidelines should be followed:
- Infants 0 to 5 months: No milk or solids for four hours before the scheduled procedure
- Infants 6 to 36 months: No milk or solids for six hours before scheduled procedure
- Patients older than 36 months: No milk or solids for eight hours before scheduled procedure
Clear liquids (apple juice, Kool-Aid, breast milk, 7-UP, cranberry juice, etc.) can be taken up to two hours before the test for all children being sedated.
If a child is to be sedated, we ask that every effort be made to keep the child awake until after she has had sedation. Postponing the nap will help a child fall asleep faster with the sedation.
Children older than 4 years generally do not require sedation in the echocardiology laboratory. If an older child needs sedation, the test may need to be performed in an operating room setting with anesthesia support.
If children are not sedated, they may eat and go about their normal activities immediately following the study, unless you are told otherwise.