A prospective study of 746 children sedated in the emergency department with iv or im ketamine revealed 2.1% may have experienced ’emergence delirium’ although the authors concede this was difficult to define. In contrast, 291 (38%) reported pleasant altered perceptions. Follow up revealed at least one nightmare in the following weeks in 3.4% of patients, which may be well under the rate reported in the normal unsedated paediatric population.
What is the nature of the emergence phenomenon when using intravenous or intramuscular ketamine for paediatric procedural sedation?
Emerg Med Australas. 2009 Aug;21(4):315-22
Bispectral index monitoring (BIS) was applied to 57 intubated patients transported by a Helcopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS), demonstrating (1) that the patients were adequately sedated, (2) BIS works in helicopters, and (3) there is enormous scope for publishing work related to the retrieval environment – anything is of interest!
Bispectral index monitoring in helicopter emergency medical services patients
Prehosp Emerg Care. 2009 Apr-Jun;13(2):193-7
An industry-sponsored double-blind randomised controlled trial comparing midazolam with the central alpha-2 agonist dexmedetomidine showed the newer drug to provide similar levels of sedation with less delirium and a shorter time to extubation. It was associated with more episodes of bradycardia not requiring intervention.
This new sedative drug, related to clonidine, provides some analgesia and anxiolysis, and is noted for its lack of respiratory depression. An accompanying editorial points out the known association between benzodiazepines and delirium, and asks whether a comparison with propofol would have shown the same improved outcomes.
Dexmedetomidine vs midazolam for sedation of critically ill patients: a randomized trial
JAMA. 2009 Feb 4;301(5):542-4
London HEMS doctors describe their use of ketamine for pre-hospital analgesia and sedation in 1030 retrospectively reviewed cases, concluding its prehospital use is safe.
Pre-hospital use of ketamine for analgesia and procedural sedation
Emerg Med J. 2009 Jan;26(1):62-4