Computed Tomography Scan (CT Scan)
CT Scan uses special x-ray equipment to obtain detailed pictures of bone, structures, organs, or tissue inside the body.
Clothing must not have metal snaps, zippers, metallic threads, or other metal. It is very important to be still for their CT Scan, even slight motion degrades the images. Some children may be given a medication, if ordered by the doctor, to relax them during the test. An IV (small tube inserted into the vein) may be started if contrast (substance shows up well on CT Scan) is indicated. If your child has been medicated, an RN will monitor her/him until discharged to home.
Ages 0-6 months - your child cannot have anything to eat or drink, including water 2 hours prior to the test. He/she may have clear liquids (water, apple juice, etc.) or breast milk 2-4 hours prior to the test.
Ages 6-24 months - your child cannot have anything to eat or drink, including water for 4 hours prior to the test. He/she may have clear liquids (water, apple juice, etc.) or breast milk 4-6 hours prior to the test. No solid food, milk or formula for 6 hours before the test.
Ages 2 years and up - your child may have nothing to eat or drink, including water for 6 hours before the test.
To help us in sedating your child for the test, it is helpful for your child to be sleepy before arriving at the hospital. We recommend putting your child to bed late in the evening before the test and waking them up early the morning of the test. It is also helpful if your child does not nap prior to the test.
Be prepared to stay at the hospital for about 4-6 hours for your child’s procedure. One to two hours are needed prior to the procedure for admitting information, starting an IV (small tube inserted into the vein) and giving sedation. The procedure may take approximately 20 minutes up to 2 hours depending on the type of test being performed. Recovery time may be approximately 2 hours after the procedure, depending on the procedure and the sedation medication that is used. Speech, posture, hand control, and walking may be markedly regressed for twenty four hours.