When Your Child Needs a CT Scan

If your doctor has scheduled your child for a CT scan, here are some helpful tips that can make this experience less stressful and help us better serve you and your child.

  • Your child may need to be sedated for the procedure. Although most of the procedures are not painful, they do require the child to remain still for 10 to 30 minutes.  If your child is to be sedated, do not feed him or her any liquids or solid foods for six hours before your appointment. If your child is a baby that is still nursing or taking a bottle, you may fed him or her four hours before the exam.

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  • You and your child will be in a room specifically designed and furnished to facilitate the sedation process. The sedation we administer is carefully monitored to allow the child to be still during his or her examination. This sedation process sometimes takes longer than we anticipate, so please plan several hours for the entire sedation process, scanning and post sedation observation. It is not a bad idea to bring some reading material or some other quiet, soothing activities.

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  • Many exams require intravenous contrast to be injected into a small vein in the hand or arm. In most instances, your doctor, or whoever scheduled your examination, can let you know if this will be necessary for your child's exam. The IV contrast contains iodine and helps your doctors examine the vessels and organs in your child's body. If desired, your doctor can prescribe a topical cream to help ease the pain of the needle stick that occurs prior to the injection of the contrast. Your doctor's nurse or one of the radiology nurses can instruct you in the proper use of the cream. If your child has an infusion port, the topical cream can also be used before the port is accessed. Infusion ports can be accessed by your doctor's office or by the Radiology nurses.

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  • Oral contrast is sometimes used with CT scanning. Oral contrast is a liquid that your child can drink and is used to outline the gastrointestinal tract during CT scans of the abdomen and/or pelvis. We have several ways of flavoring the contrast, or you may bring a favorite drink, such as juice, to mix with our contrast (No carbonated beverages pleases). It is also helpful if you bring along you child's favorite cup or bottle.

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  • The Radiology Department at Saint Francis is very fortunate to have nurses who work closely with the radiologists to make the examination as comfortable as possible for you and your child. They are available to answer questions before, during and after the examination.


What to Expect During a CT of the Brain

What to Expect During a CT of the Chest

What to Expect During a CT of the Abdomen

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