As most of you may know from personal experience, trying to get your child to hold still for a picture can prove to be an impossible task. The moment you attempt to capture their angelic image, they are already turning to look away or running out of the picture’s view entirely. A motionless photo usually requires lots of pleading and the occasional bit of bribery. This is where Cincinnati Children’s Radiology Department has an extra advantage, as we can utilize the assistance of anesthesia to guarantee a perfect picture.
Like many seemingly simple benefits, there are certain disadvantages to anesthesia that need to be acknowledged along with the advantages. For example, there are very strict NPO (nothing per mouth) instructions involved with receiving an anesthetic. This would require your child to be without food or drink for a predetermined amount of time. Both solids (meat, bread, eggs, etc.) and liquids (water, juice, milk, etc.) must be withheld prior to your child’s procedure to help ensure their safety throughout the entire process. One of the largest possible concerns for NPO violations is the chance that the child may vomit because there is something in their stomach, and aspirate (uptake matter) into the lungs. This potential risk is the reason why we are so serious about following NPO instructions exactly and will reschedule patients for even the slightest violation. It’s all in the name of safety.
The good news is that Cincinnati Children’s Radiology Department is attempting to make the NPO process as simple and straightforward as possible. We have recently come up with a Steps to Imaging with Sedation and Anesthesia sheet, which makes keeping to NPO instructions a breeze. The new sheet was based off the NPO instruction sheet given out in the Operating Room before surgeries. It includes detailed information about the times NPO should begin, as well as the particulars about which food and drink items are considered solids and liquids. For instance, orange juice is a beverage, but is regarded as a solid food because of the pulp.
The sheets also give direct contact numbers for any outstanding questions and other procedural specifics, such as what to wear and what to do if your child is sick. We know rescheduling an appointment can be a pain when juggling a social, professional and medical life. Hopefully, through the use of these vibrant reminders, there will be less miscommunications causing NPO violations and rescheduling.