Propofol versus propofol/ketamine for brief painful procedures in the emergency department: clinical and bispectral index scale comparison

William Phillips, Andrew Anderson, Martin Rosengreen, Jeremy Johnson, John Halpin
Journal of Pain & Palliative Care Pharmacotherapy 2010, 24 (4): 349-55
The ideal procedural sedation drug for emergency department (ED) use would be easily titrated, rapid in onset, brief in duration, and provide sedation and analgesia without respiratory or hemodynamic compromise. Although many agents have been tried, no single drug fits this profile. The authors evaluated the comparative effectiveness and safety of propofol versus propofol/ketamine combination for procedural sedation using bispectral index monitoring for measuring depth of sedation. A prospective, randomized case series of patients undergoing procedural sedation for fracture manipulation was studied in a Level 1 trauma center emergency department. Patients were randomized to a propofol (P) group with a target dose of 0.5 to 1.5 mg/kg or a propofol/ketamine (P/K) group with a target dose of both ketamine and propofol of 0.75 mg/kg. Procedural success, bispectral index (BIS) score, adverse effects, recovery time, and vital signs were measured. Twenty-eight patients were enrolled. The P/K group experienced a smaller decline in systolic blood pressure (1.6% versus 12.5%) and BIS score at goal sedation (77 versus 61), a smaller difference between baseline and goal sedation BIS score (18.78 ± 10 versus 34.64 ± 11) and a lower mean propofol dose (92.5 ± 58 versus 177.27 ± 11 mg). No patient in either group experienced respiratory depression or required any intervention. The combination of propofol and ketamine provides an attractive combination for procedural sedation in the emergency department. Compared to propofol alone, "ketofol" results in less hypotension, better sedation, and enhanced patient comfort and safety.

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