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Burns. 2010 Jun;36(4):501-5. doi: 10.1016/j.burns.2009.08.007. Epub 2009 Oct 12.

Pain relief during dressing changes of major adult burns: ideal analgesic combination with ketamine.

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Gulhane Military Medical Academy, Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Ankara, Turkey.


Pain management during burn dressing changes is a critical part of treatment in acute burn injuries. Although several treatment options have been suggested, it is still a challenge in a clinical setting. This study is aimed at finding out an ideal analgesic, sedative and/or anxiolytic combination that would minimise the unwanted effects of ketamine. A total of 24 patients, with burns up to 20-50% of total body surface area (TBSA), were included in the study and randomly divided into three groups. In group I, 2 mg kg(-1) ketamine was administered. In group II, 1 mg kg(-1) tramadol was administered and 30 min later, 1 microg kg(-1) dexmedetomidine and 2 mg kg(-1) ketamine was administered. In group III, 1 mg kg(-1) tramadol was applied and 30 min later, 0.05 mg kg(-1) midazolam and 2 mg kg(-1) ketamine was administered. The evaluation was performed with cardiopulmonary monitoring, sedation and visual analogue pain scores and overall patient satisfaction. Any adverse effects of ketamine were recorded. The results showed that group II had better outcomes with respect to pain management during dressing changes. As a conclusion, the use of the combination of ketamine, tramadol and dexmedetomidine was found to be a good treatment option for the prevention of the procedural pain suffered by adult patients during dressing changes.

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