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Paediatr Anaesth. 2010 Sep;20(9):787-96. doi: 10.1111/j.1460-9592.2010.03338.x.

Intravenous vs intramuscular ketamine for pediatric procedural sedation by emergency medicine specialists: a review.

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Emergency Department, Royal Children's Hospital, Melbourne, Vic. 3004, Australia.


Ketamine is a general anesthetic agent widely used for pediatric procedural sedation outside the operating theater by nonanesthesiologists. In a setting where efficacy and safety of the agent are paramount, there are conflicting recommendations in terms of optimal mode of parenteral administration, as well as optimal dosage and need for the coadministration of adjunctive agents to decrease side effects. We investigated existing evidence to determine whether ketamine should be best administered intravenously or intramuscularly. This analysis was made difficult by limited direct comparisons of both modes of parenteral administration and a lack of consistent definitions for key outcomes such as 'effectiveness,''adverse events,''hypoxia,''ease of completion of the procedure,' and 'satisfaction' across studies that have evaluated ketamine. Based on large data sets, the safety and efficacy of both modes of administration are broadly similar. Although data on head to head comparisons of intravenous and intramuscular ketamine is limited, based on our analysis, we conclude that the trends indicate ketamine is ideally administered intravenously.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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