CT - Information for Pediatric Patients

CT - Information for Pediatric Patients

How does CT work?

CT stands for Computed Tomography and it is a machine that uses radiation and computers to perform many diagnostic scans of the body. It is also used to assist the radiologist in performing a biopsy or placement of tubes and drains. There are cameras within the machine that take pictures looking through the body. The machine makes a low spinning noise as it takes the pictures. Your child will not experience any pain during their CT.

Who will perform the CT?

The CT technologist performs the scan with the assistance from the radiologist. The radiologist will interpret the results of the scan and makes a report that will be sent to your child’s doctor. The ordering physician will then contact you with the results either with a follow up appointment or they will call you. You can also access your child’s medical file by visiting mychartuva.com and clicking “Sign Up for MyChart” to receive an activation code. If you have any questions about MyChart you can call 434-243-2500.

Where will the scan be done?

The scan is done in the Radiology Department in University Hospital East on the main floor. You may park for free in the garage across the street from the hospital. Bring your parking ticket to the hospital with you for validation to qualify for free parking.

How long does the CT take?

The length of the scan varies depending on which body part is being scanned. If we are imaging an abdomen or pelvis there is one hour prep for oral dosing and we ask that you arrive one hour prior to your scheduled appointment. The scheduling department will be calling you prior to your scan with those instructions. Once the patient is prepped, the scan only takes 15 to 30 minutes.

What must be done to get ready for the scan?

If your child is old enough to understand, discuss the scan with them. Explain to your child that they will have to lie still for a period of time on our table for the pictures. Reassure them that the scan will not hurt and if the child wants, you can remain in the room with them while the pictures are being taken. The only time that the parent cannot stay in the room is if the parent is pregnant or has other children with them.

Children less than 5 years of age usually have trouble holding still and will require sedation. This is not the same as “gas” or general anesthesia. The sedation is a liquid medicine administered by the radiology registered nurse. Throughout the procedure and while the child is asleep, the nurse will monitor heart rate and oxygen levels.

If your child requires sedation

Arrive in radiology a minimum of 1 hour prior to your appointment. Infants and children must stop food, formula, and dairy products 7 hours prior to procedure unless the child is breastfeeding. If a child is breastfeeding, they can be fed 5 hours before the procedure time. All children can have clear liquid up until 3 hours prior to procedure time. Avoid water in infants and encourage Pedialyte, clear juice, juice popsicles, and Gator Aide. All children must have NOTHING BY MOUTH FOR THE LAST 3 HOURS prior to scheduled appointment time. Wake your child up early and keep them awake even on the car ride to the hospital. A sleepy child is easier to sedate than a child who has had a long nap. It is good to bring a second 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. Dress the child in comfortable clothes with no metal snaps and bring an extra change of clothing. Bring a small container of child’s favorite clear juice to have after procedure or a bottle for infants. Children with hyperactivity, attention deficit or seizures should take their regular scheduled medicine.

Questions or Concerns

Contact the Radiology and Medical Imaging department at 434-924-9400.