Sedation with ketamine: a safe and effective anaesthetic agent for children in the developing world
Shah RK, Singh RP, Prasad N.
Department of Orthopaedic,
Nepal Medical College Teaching Hospital,
Jorpati, Kathmandu.
Nepal Med Coll J. 2003 Jun;5(1):9-13.


Recently there has been a resurgence in the utilization of ketamine, a unique anaesthetic, for emergency procedures requiring sedation. The purpose of the present study was to examine the safety and efficacy of ketamine for sedation in the treatment of children's fractures in the small clinic setup of rural Nepal. One hundred and fourteen children (average age, 5.3 years; range, twelve months to ten years and ten months) who underwent closed reduction of an isolated fracture or dislocation in the Orthopaedic & Trauma Clinic at Janakpurdham were prospectively evaluated. Ketamine hydrochloride was administered intravenously (at a dose of less than two milligrams per kilogram of body weight) in ninety-nine of the patients and intramuscularly (at a dose of four milligrams per kilogram of body weight) in the other fifteen. Adequate fracture reduction was obtained in 111 of the children. Ninety-nine percent (sixty-eight) of the sixty-nine parents present during the reduction were pleased with the sedation and would allow it to be used again in a similar situation. Minor side effects included nausea (thirteen patients), emesis (eight of the thirteen patients with nausea), clumsiness (evident as ataxic movements in ten patients), and dysphonic reaction (one patient). No long-term sequelae were noted, and no patients had hallucinations or nightmares. Ketamine reliably, safely, and quickly provided adequate sedation to effectively facilitate the reduction of children's fractures at our institution. Therefore, it was ideal for small clinic in our setup.
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