American College of Emergency Physicians and American Society of Anesthesiologists Issue Joint Statement on Ketamine Use

Washington, D.C.—Today, the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) and the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) announced a collaborative statement on the use of ketamine in prehospital settings.

Ketamine is a dissociative anesthetic that is widely used in the emergency department and in prehospital care for effective pain management, sedation, the control of delirium in acute psychotic emergencies and drug intoxications. Its safe use in prehospital care is dependent on an appropriate medical assessment by a paramedic with medical direction guiding appropriate dosing, monitoring as soon as feasible, and timely transport to an emergency department for further assessment and treatment.

ACEP and ASA firmly oppose the use of ketamine or any other sedative/hypnotic agent to chemically incapacitate someone solely for a law enforcement purpose and not for a legitimate medical reason.

The American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) is the national medical society representing emergency medicine. Through continuing education, research, public education and advocacy, ACEP advances emergency care on behalf of its 40,000 emergency physician members, and the more than 150 million Americans they treat on an annual basis. For more information, visit www.acep.org and www.emergencyphysicians.org.

Contact: Maggie McGillick | mmcgillick@acep.org | Twitter @EmergencyDocs

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