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Comparison of the efficacy of ketamine– propofol versus sodium thiopental–fentanyl in sedation: a randomised clinical trial


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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