Thursday, June 23, 2016

Ketamine Infusion May Be Adjunct Sedative Alternative To Benzodiazepines in Mechanically Ventilated ICU Patients


Continuous ketamine infusion may be a safe and effective adjunct to sedation in mechanically ventilated critically ill patients, and could be a potential alternative to the continuous infusion of benzodiazepines.

“Ketamine is a rapid-acting anesthetic with both sedative and analgesic properties,” said Lara Groetzinger, PharmD, of the medical ICU of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center’s Presbyterian Hospital, and the lead researcher.

“Its unique mechanism of action provides an option for patients who are mechanically ventilated and require both sedation and analgesia.” The study was presented at the Society of Critical Care Medicine’s 2016 Critical Care Congress (abstract 586).

Dr. Groetzinger said continuous infusion of benzodiazepines has been associated with negative outcomes, such as increased duration of mechanical ventilation and ICU length of stay, possibly related to the deep sedation and delirium associated with these agents.


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