A short cut review was carried out to establish whether low-dose ketamine is better than morphine at safely and effectively reducing pain scores in ED patients with acute pain who do not respond to conventional therapies. One hundred and thirty-two papers were found using the reported searches, of these three presented the best evidence to answer the clinical question. The author, date and country of publication, patient group studied, study type, relevant outcomes, results and study weaknesses of these best papers are tabulated. It is concluded that the evidence is limited, but that ketamine can be an effective alternative or adjunct to intravenous opioid pain medications and in some instances may provide more effective pain relief when compared with opioids.
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Competing interests None declared.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.
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