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Ketamine is a medication commonly used in hospitals for sedation in children who require a brief procedure that may be painful or unpleasant. It is injected in to the vein via a drip, and lasts for about half an hour.
Under sedation children can appear awake but they are unaware of their surroundings. They may drool saliva, have watering of the eyes, move a little without an obvious cause, or have twitching movements of the eyes; these are all normal features of Ketamine sedation. Because they are unaware of their surroundings they do not feel any pain, and typically do not remember the procedure at all or only remember small parts.
Last reviewed: 01 June 2021
Next review: 30 June 2024
Author(s): Dr Kat Smith (Paediatric Grid trainee, RHCG)
Co-Author(s): Dr Steven Foster
Approved By: RHC ED Clinical governance subgroup