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Ketamine is a safe, effective, and appropriate technique for emergency department paediatric procedural sedation
  1. S M Green1,
  2. B Krauss2
  1. 1Department of Emergency Medicine, Loma Linda University Medical Center and Children’s Hospital, Loma Linda, California, USA
  2. 2The Division of Emergency Medicine, Children’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
  1. Correspondence to:
 Dr S M Green
 Loma Linda University Medical Center A-108, 11234 Anderson Street, Loma Linda, CA 92354, USA;

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Ketamine has an important role in the management of acutely injured children

Three reports in this issue of the journal substantively advance the status of ketamine for paediatric procedural sedation in the emergency department (ED). McGlone et al1 and Ellis et al2 report a total of 590 ketamine administrations, together noting a high level of sedation efficacy, strong degrees of parental and staff satisfaction, and an adverse effect profile readily manageable by trained emergency physicians. In a third report, Howes3 capably reviews the now abundant literature supporting the safety of this dissociative sedative technique.

These reports are entirely consistent with many previous ED series from the United Kingdom4–7 and elsewhere8–18 reporting the safety of ketamine in literally thousands of children. The exceptional track record for this drug in various non-ED settings has also been well reported. …

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