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CJEM. 2013 Sep;15(5):279-88.

Does the sedation regimen affect adverse events during procedural sedation and analgesia in injection drug users?



Injection drug users (IDUs) often undergo procedural sedation and analgesia (PSA) as part of emergency department (ED) treatment. We compared adverse events (AEs) using a variety of sedation regimens.


This was a retrospective analysis of a PSA safety audit in two urban EDs. Consecutive self-reported IDUs were identified, and structured data describing comorbidities, vital signs, sedation regimens (propofol [P], propofol-fentanyl [PF], fentanyl-midazolam [FM], ketofol [1:1 ketamine:propofol, KF], and ketamine-propofol [KP]) and AEs were collected. The primary outcome was the proportion of patients in each sedation group having an AE; the secondary outcome was the proportion of patients having a cardiovascular or respiratory AE.


Data were collected on 276 IDUs (78 P, 82 PF, 65 FM, 25 KF, and 26 KP), and 18 patients had AEs (6.5%, 95% CI 4.0-10.3). The AE rates were 0.0%, 8.5%, 9.2%, 12.0%, and 7.6%, respectively, with propofol having a significantly lower rate (Pearson coefficient 14.9, p  =  0.007). The cardiovascular/respiratory AE rates were significantly different as well, with P, KP, and KF having the lowest rates (Pearson coefficient 13.3, p  =  0.01).


For IDU PSA, the overall AE rate was 6.5%, and propofol appeared to have a significantly lower rate.

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