View Full Version : MRI for 6y/o

09-15-2008, 02:49 PM
My 6yr/old will need an MRI soon. Do they always require sedation? Is it IV or just an oral medicaion?

09-15-2008, 03:09 PM
My daughter had IV Sedation. I was very worried at first and called all over the place to see if I could find someone to do it without. No luck. The explaination I got was that the procedure too a while (1 hour???) and if the child moves they need to restart. My daughter did very well with it , I think I worried that much for nothing. I was told by our ortho, Dr Rivard, that it was not necessary for a right curve. The left curves apparently are more associated with Charis (sp?) or teathered spines. He was right our results were no problems other than scoliosis but I am VERY glad we did it to ease my mind that perhap there was another isssue.

09-15-2008, 03:22 PM
Hi again,

The answer about sedation is, it depends on the child, and the hospital. Some hospitals require sedation for all kids under a certain age. Others will consider on an individual basis. My Braydon was able to have an MRI without sedation at age 5. He's a very calm kid and could lay still for 1-2 full hours. Our hospital (a children's hospital) allows them to bring a favorite CD to listen to. That helps too.

Most kids only need conscious sedation, if sedation is needed. Again, it depends on the child and the hospital. You know her best. Maybe do a role-play and have her lay very still while watching a movie or listening to music. See how she does. The MRI machine (as you know) is VERY noisy and upsetting to some kids who don't understand what that means. Oh, and make sure they put something under her knees to allow her knees to be bent through the procedure. Makes for better comfort.

Good luck and let us know how things go.

09-15-2008, 03:28 PM
Thanks for the replies. I worked in an ER for many years and did alot of conscious sedation on kids. I'm hoping not to go that route. I think she could be still w/o IV sedation, but I'll just have to wait and see. Since her back hurts her, it may be difficult to lay on a hard surface for an hour. Thanks for the tip about the pillow under the knees.

09-15-2008, 04:48 PM

My 6 y/o daughter had a full-spine MRI in March. She is pretty calm in medical situations. I was very nervous about it, but she did great. Her pediatrician prescribed a 1 mg Ativan tablet, to be taken one hour prior to the procedure. Although I double-checked the dose with the pharmacist, I was paranoid, so I gave her 0.5 mg. It dissolves under the tongue. She did fine and still says it reminded her of a band playing music!

The techs told us that if she moved they would have to redo just that part of the sequence, not the entire thing. She was done in under an hour. We were very appreciative of the staff, because they don't do many young kids there, but we wanted to avoid IV sedation.

Good luck, let us know how it goes.

09-15-2008, 07:38 PM
Carmell and Cakebaker,

You both used the term "conscious sedation". When David had an MRI several years ago, it was explained to me that he'd be sedated, but not as deeply as, say, one would be for surgery. The doctor said if he wanted to, he could wake him. Sounds like it could be similar to what you are referring to.

Can you explain what you mean by conscious sedation?

Just curious.


09-15-2008, 07:45 PM
Hi Maria,

Conscious sedation (also called moderate sedation) is sedation given through an IV, leaving the pt in a groggy, twilight state that allows them to tolerate medical procedures that would otherwise be painful or anxiety-producing (included things like MRI's for kids, colonoscopy, cardiac catheterization, to name just a few). The pt can be easily awakened if needed, for instance if they need to change position or take a deep breath. Th patient may be somewhat aware, but doesn't care what is going on.

This is in contrast to a general anesthetic, where the pt is completely anesthetized and unconscious. This usually involves inhalant anesthetics combined with IV agents.

I hope this helps! In case you're wondering, I give sedation all day long at an endoscopy/colonoscopy center.

09-15-2008, 08:40 PM
Thanks, Gayle!

That sounds exactly like the type of sedation David had for his MRI. I just didn't know the name for it!

09-16-2008, 11:20 AM
And, Maria, conscious sedation can be a combo of oral drugs... for example, my hubby has serious claustrophobia. Having been diagnosed with MS, he has had multiple MRIs of his brain. NOT a pleasant experience for someone who is claustrophobic. They give him a cocktail of drugs (ie, Benadryl, Fentanyl, Versed, etc.) to make him so he doesn't remember the procedure. He can't lay still to save his life, even sedated, so they do the best they can. He thinks he's totally under general sedation, but we know better. What he doesn't know... LOL

09-16-2008, 12:10 PM
Thanks again for the info ladies!

David was given conscious sedation through in IV for his MRI, but it's good to know they can "consciously sedate" people with oral meds as well.

I've never had an MRI myself, but am NOT fond of enclosed spaces either. I think they would have to give me something to get me to stay in there!

09-16-2008, 02:37 PM
I had to kind of laugh reading the description of conscious sedation... I just got back from having my first colonoscopy ever... prepping for it yesterday and last night was no fun at all, believe me-- but the procedure was a piece of cake for me. I have absolutely no recollection of anything after having the IV put in and being rolled into the room where it was performed. What a blessing! I "came too" as I was being rolled back to the wake up room and was just aware of having a lot of gas on the ride. (No, the guerney wasn't motorized... I was, as they apparently fill you with air...) ;) I was very careful to make them all understand they couldn't twist me, etc., and that I needed to logroll. I'm paranoid about things like that! :rolleyes: