Ketamine sedation for pediatric procedures: Part 2, Review and implications

Ann Emerg Med. 1990 Sep;19(9):1033-46. doi: 10.1016/s0196-0644(05)82569-7.


Ketamine produces rapid and consistent pediatric sedation with a predictable onset and recovery time. A wide margin of safety is afforded without the respiratory and cardiovascular depression commonly seen with alternative agents. The efficacy of ketamine is well established in anesthesia and dentistry and has extensive applications in other specialties. Ketamine sedation facilitates superior technical and cosmetic results while minimizing emotional trauma to distraught children. The much-feared complications of aspiration and laryngospasm are extremely rare when ketamine is used with proper precautions. Ketamine deserves increased use in the ED, and we advocate additional clinical investigation in this setting.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Emergency Medicine / methods*
  • Humans
  • Hypnotics and Sedatives* / pharmacology
  • Ketamine* / pharmacology


  • Hypnotics and Sedatives
  • Ketamine