Children's Heart Center

Parent Instructions for Sedated Echocardiogram

The medication we will use to sedate your child is Chloral Hydrate. It is a liquid medicine that is given by mouth. We may also give your child Benadryl to assist in the sedation process. Doses are based on your child's weight. Unfortunately, the medication does not taste very good and sometimes causes children to gag after they have taken it. We expect the medicine will put your child soundly to sleep after 30-45 minutes. While your child is asleep, one of our nurses will be closely monitoring his or her heart rate, respiratory rate, and oxygen saturation.

On the day of the sedated echocardiogram, your child may not have solid food, milk or formula for 4 hours before the scheduled time. If your child is breastfeeding, he or she may have breast milk up to 2 hours before the test. Your child may have clear liquids (i.e., clear juices) up to the time the medication is administered.

It is also very helpful to schedule the sedated echocardiogram around the time your child usually naps. This will help your child fall asleep more easily. At the very least, try to keep your child awake for as long as possible before the test.

If after reading these instructions you have any questions, feel free to call one of our nurse practitioners at (585) 275-6108.