Patient & Family Education Materials

Start over with a New Search

Sedation: Extended observation

Your child is scheduled for extended observation after being sedated for a procedure. (For information about sedation, see the education sheet, "Sedation for a procedure.")

What is extended observation after sedation?

Some children must be monitored for an extended time of 12 hours after sedation, for their safety.

Why does my child need extended observation?

Every child wakes up differently from sedation. However, the effects of sedation can last longer in certain children:

  • newborn babies
  • premature babies (babies born early)
  • children on a home apnea (breathing) monitor

What will happen during extended observation?

After the procedure, your child will be monitored for 12 hours by a nurse in the Short Stay Unit (SSU) or an inpatient unit. A monitor will be used to observe heart rate, breathing, and oxygen levels.

In the SSU, one parent must stay with the child until discharge. Only parents (no other children) may stay overnight.

After the observation period, your child will be discharged. If this happens in the middle of the night, you may take your child home at that time, or wait until morning.

What should we bring from home?

It is best to plan for an overnight stay, even if you think you may be able to take your child home right after the 12 hours of observation. That way, if you do stay until morning, you will have everything you need.

Things to bring include:

  • Your child's comfort items, such as a pacifier, blanket, or special toy.
  • Medicines your child usually takes, in original containers with original labels.
  • Any equipment needed for your child, such as a home apnea monitor, ventilator, feeding tube attachments.
  • Special formula, if your child uses it.
  • Food or money to buy food.
  • Money to pay for parking.


This sheet is not specific to your child but provides general information. If you have questions about your child's procedure or the extended observation, please ask your child's doctor.

Children's Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota
Patient/Family Education
2525 Chicago Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55404
Last reviewed 8/2015©Copyright

Back To Top

This page is not specific to your child, but provides general information on the topic above. If you have any questions, please call your clinic. For more reading material about this and other health topics, please call or visit Children's Minnesota Family Resource Center library, or visit

© 2024 Children's Minnesota