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Journal Articles Anaesthesia Critical Care & Pain Medicine Year : 2015

Ketamine for pain management in France, an observational survey

Valéria Martinez
  • Function : Correspondent author
Benoit Derivaux
  • Function : Correspondent author


Context: Before updating the French guidelines on postoperative pain treatment in 2015, the Pain Committee of the French Society of Anaesthesiology and Intensive Care (SFAR) conducted a survey on the medical use of ketamine in France. Methods: An online questionnaire was nationally distributed to members of SFAR, the French Pain Society (SFETD) and the French Society of Emergency Medicine (SFMU). The questionnaire included questions on demographic data, the type of patients for whom ketamine was prescribed, the doses used, the side effects and safety measures associated with the administration of ketamine. Results: A total of 1388 questionnaires were analysed. Ninety-two percent of the responders declared that they used ketamine. Ketamine was widely used as anti-hyperalgesic medication but the modalities of administration and the doses varied greatly and were not in accordance with the guidelines. Despite the lack of evidence and guidelines, ketamine has also been used to treat acute and chronic pain. Doses, duration and localization of the patients during administration have varied greatly. Psychedelic effects and hallucinations are the most feared side effects. In terms of monitoring during ketamine infusion, 15% of physicians declared that no monitoring was necessary while 59%, 55%, 59% and 77% monitored heart rate, SpO2, blood pressure and level of consciousness, respectively. Conclusion: Anaesthesiologists have integrated the benefit of ketamine in preventing hyperalgesia but there is no consensus on doses and duration. For other indications (acute and chronic pain treatment), toxicity and the absence of significant benefit call for guidelines from scientific societies
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Dates and versions

hal-01225501 , version 1 (03-12-2015)



Valéria Martinez, Benoit Derivaux, Hélène Beloeil. Ketamine for pain management in France, an observational survey. Anaesthesia Critical Care & Pain Medicine, 2015, 34 (6), pp.357-361. ⟨10.1016/j.accpm.2015.04.005⟩. ⟨hal-01225501⟩
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