Ketamine Sedation in Children

Author: Gavin Lloyd / Editor: Jason M Kendall / Reviewers: Jon Bailey, Nadarajah Prasanna / Codes: Published: 15/05/2020


This session is based upon the RCEM College guideline on Ketamine Sedation of Children in Emergency Departments, for either intramuscular (IM) or intravenous (IV) administration.

After completing this session you will be able to:

  • Judge when ketamine sedation is appropriate
  • Safely use ketamine following the College guideline
  • Troubleshoot any complications arising
  • Consider governance issues regarding ketamine sedation in your department


  1. Green SM, Rothrock SG, Lynch EL et al. Intramuscular ketamine for pediatric sedation in the emergency department: safety profile in 1,022 cases. Ann Emerg Med 1998;31:688-697. View abstract
  2. Agrawal D, Manzi SF, Gupta R et al. Preprocedural fasting state and adverse events in children undergoing procedural sedation and analgesia in a paediatric emergency department. Ann Emerg Med Nov 2003;42:636-646.
  3. Royal College of Emergency Medicine. Ketamine sedation of children in emergency departments. CEM, 2016. View guideline
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  9. Langston WT, Wathen JE, Roback MG et al. Effect of ondansetron on the incidence of vomiting associated with ketamine sedation in children: a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial. Ann Emerg Med 2008;52:30-34.
  10. Newman DH, Azer MM, Pitetti RD et al. When is a patient safe for discharge after procedural sedation?  The timing of adverse effect events in 1,367 paediatric procedural sedations. Ann Emerg Med 2003;42:627-635.

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