CT - Information for Pediatric Patients
CT stands for Computerized Axial Tomography.
The CT machine uses radiation and computers to perform many diagnostic studies of the body. It also is used to assist the radiologist (a doctor with advanced medical training in x-ray and imaging) in performing a biopsy, drainage or placement of tubes. Cameras placed within the machine take pictures looking down through the body. While taking the pictures, the machine makes a low spinning noise. However, your child will experience no pain during a CT.
A radiologist assisted by a CT technologist will perform the scan. The radiologist will interpret the results of the scan and inform your child’s doctor. The results of the scan will then be available for you from your child’s doctor.
The scan is done in the Radiology Department in University Hospital East on the main floor. You may park in the garage across the street from the hospital. Bring your parking ticket to the hospital with you. Parking is free. However, your ticket must be validated to qualify for free parking.
The scan will take 15 to 30 minutes. The length of time depends upon the part of the body being scanned.
If your child is old enough to understand, discuss the scan with him/her. Tell the child to "lie very still" for a period of time for the pictures. Reassure him/her that the scan does not hurt and that you will be able to remain in the room while the pictures are taken.
Children less than 5years old usually have trouble holding still for the scan and require "sedation" medicine. This is not the same as "gas" or general anesthesia. The sedation is a liquid medicine administered by the radiology registered nurse. While the child is sleeping and throughout the procedure, the nurse will monitor heart rate and oxygen level.
If your child requires sedation:
Arrive in radiology 1 hour prior to your appointment.
DO NOT give children under 5 months of age any formula 3 hours prior to arrival at the hospital.
DO NOT give children 6 months to 6 years any milk or food 4 hours prior to arrival at the hospital.
DO NOT give children older than 6 years any milk or food 6 hours prior to arrival at the hospital.
All age children may have Clear Liquids (Jello®, Popsicle’s, Apple Juice, Pedialyte, and Gator Aide) up to 2 hours prior to arrival at the hospital.
All age children must have NOTHING BY MOUTH FOR THE LAST 2 HOURS prior to arrival at the hospital.
Wake your child up early and keep him/her awake. A sleepy child is easier to sedate than a child who has had a long nap.
It is good to bring a 2nd adult along with you to help care for the child. If sedation is given, the child will be sleepy on the way home.
Leave other children with a sitter. Space is limited in the sedation area and a quiet environment is needed for sedation.
If no sedation is given, the child will be discharged immediately after the scan. If the child does receive sedation, he/she will be monitored until responsive.
For any questions or concerns
Contact the Radiology and Medical Imaging department at 434-924-9400.