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Comparison of the efficacy of ketamine– propofol versus sodium thiopental–fentanyl in sedation: a randomised clinical trial
  1. Maryam Bahreini1,
  2. Mostafa Talebi Garekani2,
  3. Mehran Sotoodehnia1,
  4. Fatemeh Rasooli1
  1. 1 Emergency Department, Sina Hospital, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran (the Islamic Republic of)
  2. 2 Emergency Department, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran (the Islamic Republic of)
  1. Correspondence to Dr Fatemeh Rasooli, Emergency Medicine, Tehran, Iran (the Islamic Republic of); fa.rasooli2{at}


Background Many sedative regimens have been studied with controversial efficiencies. This study tried to assess the desirable and adverse effects of sodium thiopental–fentanyl (TF) with ketamine–propofol (KP) for procedural sedation and analgesia in the emergency department.

Methods After signing written consent, patients were enrolled in this randomised double-blind trial to receive either KP or TF to reach the desired sedation level. The respiratory and haemodynamic complications, nausea and vomiting, recovery agitation, patient recall and satisfaction, provider satisfaction and recovery time were compared.

Results Of the participants, 47 in the KP group and 49 in the TF group were enrolled. The mean and SD scores were 6.91±1.93 and 8.34±1.25 for patients’ satisfaction and 7.55±1.54 and 8.65±1.00 for satisfaction of physicians performing the procedures in TF and KP groups, respectively (p=0.000). Moreover, 39 (79.59%) and 18 (38.29%) of patients declared that they had recalled the procedures in the TF and KP groups, respectively (p=0.000). Transient hypoxia was reported in 2.1% and 8.1% in the KP and TF groups leading to perform 4.2% vs 8.1% airway manoeuvres, respectively, without the need for endotracheal intubation or further admission.

Conclusions KP and TF combinations were effectively comparable although KP resulted in higher patient and provider satisfaction. This study did not detect a difference regarding adverse respiratory or haemodynamic effects. It is estimated that the TF combination can be potent and efficacious with possible low adverse events in procedural sedation.

  • analgesia/pain control
  • safety
  • anaesthesia - general
  • clinical assessment, effectiveness

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  • Handling editor Gene Yong-Kwang Ong

  • Contributors MB designed the trial. MTG collected data and prepared them for analysis. MS and MB analysed the data. FR reviewed the article and submitted to the journal. All the authors critically appraised and approved the manuscript.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient and public involvement Patients and/or the public were not involved in the design, or conduct, or reporting, or dissemination plans of this research.

  • Patient consent for publication Obtained.

  • Ethics approval This study was approved by the Ethics Committee of the University of Medical Sciences with the ethics committee reference number 'ir.tums.rec.1394.962'.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data availability statement Data are available on reasonable request.

  • Press release No.

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