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Ketamine and Drug-Assisted Intubation

 Evidence suggests ketamine is a safe medication for assisting intubation as it doesn’t increase ICP and is safe for patients with TBI.  The objectives for this course include to outline the mechanism of action and effects of ketamine, critically examine earlier studies linking ketamine to increased ICP in TBI patients, and identify therapeutic applications of ketamine for procedural sedation.


  • Outline the mechanism of action and effects of ketamine
  • Critically examine earlier studies linking ketamine to increased ICP in TBI patients
  • Identify therapeutic applications of ketamine for procedural sedation 


1. Clark MR. Chronic Pain and Addiction. Basel, Switzerland: Karger AG, 2011.

2. Center for Substance Abuse Research. Ketamine.

3. Corssen G, Domino EF. Dissociative anesthesia: Further pharmacologic studies and first clinical experience with the phencyclidine derivative Cl-581. Anesth Analg, 1966 Jan–Feb; 45(1): 29-40.

4. Flood P, Rathmell JP, Shafer S. Stoelting’s Pharmacology & Physiology in Anesthetic Practice, 5th ed. Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer Health, 2015.

5. Nickson C. Ketamine RSI for head injury. Life in the Fastlane,

6. Ballow SW, Kaups KL, Anderson S, Chang M. A standardized rapid sequence intubation protocol facilitates airway management in critically injured patients. J Trauma Acute Care Surg, 2012 Dec; 73(6): 1,401–5.

7. Lyon RM, Perkins ZB, Chatterjee D, Lockey DJ, Russell MQ; Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance Trust. Significant modification of traditional rapid sequence induction improves safety and effectiveness of pre-hospital trauma analgesia. Crit Care, 2015 Apr 1; 19: 134.

8. Jabre P, Combes X, Lapostolle F, et al.; KETASED Collaborative Study Group. Etomidate versus ketamine for rapid sequence intubation in acutely ill patients: A multicenter randomised controlled trial. Lancet, 2009 Jul 25; 374(9,686): 293–300.

9. Albanese J, Arnaud S, Rey M, et al. Ketamine decreases intracranial pressure and electroencephalographic activity in traumatic brain injury patients during Propofol sedation. Anesthesiology, 1997 Dec; 87(6): 1,328–34.

10. Bourgoin A, Albanese J, Wereszczynski N, et al. Safety of sedation with ketamine in severe head injury patients: Comparison with sufentanil. Crit Care Med, 2003 Mar; 31(3): 711–7. 

11. Schmittner MD, Vajkoczy SL, Horn P, et al. Effects of fentanyl and S(+)-ketamine on cerebral hemodynamics, gastrointestinal motility, and need of vasopressors in patients with intracranial pathologies: A pilot study. J Neurosurg Anesthesiol, 2007; 19: 257–62.

12. Roberts DJ, Hall RI, Kramer AH, et al. Sedation for critically ill adults with severe traumatic brain injury: A systematic review of randomized controlled trials. Crit Care Med, 2011; 39: 2,743–51.

13. Bar-Joseph G, Guilburd Y, Tamir A, Guilburd JN. Effectiveness of ketamine in decreasing intracranial pressure in children with intracranial hypertension. J Neurosurg Pediatr, 2009 Jul; 4(1): 40–6.

  • Format
  • Duration
    .5 hours
  • Credits
    .5 CE
  • After passing the course, your certificate will be available for download here.