Use of Sedation in the Evaluation Process
No child, especially those under the age of six months of age, should be given medication to sedate for testing unless absolutely necessary. Sedating merely for convenience or to speed testing time in a busy clinic schedule is neither ethical audiological practice nor good medical practice. Most normally developing children from birth to 6 months of age can be tested using sleep deprivation and other techniques to induce natural sleep.
The standard is to begin with less medically invasive procedures (i.e. behavioral) and move to more complex procedures (i.e. electrophysiological) requiring or including the use of sedation only when deemed necessary to complete the evaluation.
Children 6 months and older or children with complex medical conditions may need to be sedated to complete necessary diagnostic procedures when behavioral audiology is inappropriate due to the child's age or other limitations or attempts at behavioral testing have been made with no success. Conscious sedation is recommended over deep sedation whenever possible.
Administering the sedation and discharging patients after the procedure is not within the scope of practice of the audiologist.
Both the Louisiana Board of Examiners and the American Speech-Language- Hearing Association have adopted standards for the procedural use of sedation for speech pathology and audiology. Audiologists involved with sedation should be knowledgeable of these position statements. You can view the ASHA Technical Report on Sedation and Topical Anesthetics at http://www.asha.org/docs/pdf/TR1992- 00257.pdf