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Pediatric Pain Control in EMS Is Ketamine the Next Big Thing?

Pre-hospital pain control is moving at a rapid pace; it’s time to buckle up for an interesting ride. While Morphine is being laid to rest by many EMS agencies due to its side effect profile, time to peak effect and the inability to be administered intranasally, other medications are moving to the forefront of care. Ask any field provider about morphine and you are not likely to get a positive response. A typical call requiring morphine administration results in a very slow effect (25 minute peak), often leaving the paramedic in a precarious position. Patients remain in absolute agony, as they are being moved and transported to the local hospital. Then right as the transfer of care occurs and the doctor walks in the room the patient finally starts feeling better….and then gives the doctor all the credit. It’s these types of failures that have led EMS agencies to look for a better alternative.

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