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Pediatric Surgical Services Newsletter - March 2021


In this edition:

  • Imaging in younger kids without sedation
  • 24/7 Emergency Department consultations/advice


Minimizing Anesthesia Exposure During Imaging: Improved Patient Safety, Better Access, Ease of Patient Preparation

The Start Without Anesthesia Program (SWAP) determines if children over the age of 5 are eligible to have an MRI, CT or other imaging modality without sedation. The program helps minimize exposure to anesthesia during a scan. Last year, 98 percent of the 300 children who tried the program succeeded.

In addition to improving patient safety, SWAP offers:

  • Improved access: Access is easier, in part because a SWAP MRI appointment takes 30 minutes, whereas a sedated appointment can take up to 9s0 minutes.
  • Ease of preparation: SWAP patients don’t have to fast before an MRI appointment.
  • Lower cost: The cost of the scan decreases when anesthesia is not used.

Children are assessed in advance by a child life specialist to determine their coping skills. To refer a patient for a SWAP assessment, contact A child life specialist will then contact the family directly.


24/7 Emergency Department Consultations and Advice

Pediatric emergency medicine physicians at UCSF are available for consultations and advice to community physicians and emergency departments 24 hours a day, every day of the year.

Our pediatric emergency rooms in Oakland and San Francisco offer:

  • Experts in pediatric emergency medicine who understand the nuances of caring for children
  • Board-certified physicians in pediatric emergency medicine
  • Nurses, ancillary staff and child life specialists trained in providing age-appropriate care for children

Immediate access is also available to any subspecialty a patient might need, including:

  • Pediatric surgery
  • Pediatric imaging
  • Pediatric intensive care
  • Pediatric anesthesiology

Refer patients by calling (877) UC-CHILD (877-822-4453). One call will get you to the right ED and a specialist who can help you determine how to manage your patient.