An Analysis of Ketamine Doses Administrated to Nonintubated Casualties Prehospital

Grace E. Bebarta, Vikhyat S. Bebarta, Andrew D. Fisher, Michael D. April, Andrew J. Atkinson, Laura L. McGhee, Steven G. Schauer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Introduction: Previous studies demonstrate that a significant proportion of casualties do not receive pain medication prehospital after traumatic injuries. To address possible reasons, the U.S. Military has sought to develop novel delivery methods to aid in administration of pain medications prehospital. We sought to describe the dose and route of ketamine administered prehospital to help inform materiel solutions. Materials and Methods: This is a secondary analysis of a previously described dataset focused on prehospital data within the Department of Defense Trauma Registry from 2007 to 2020. We isolated encounters in which ketamine was administered along with the amount dosed and the route of administration in nonintubated patients. Results: Within our dataset, 862 casualties met inclusion for this analysis. The median age was 28 and nearly all (98%) were male. Most were battle injuries (88%) caused by explosives (54%). The median injury severity score was 10 with the extremities accounting to the most frequent seriously injured body region (38%). The mean dose via intravenous route was 50.4 mg (n = 743, 95% CI 46.5-54.3), intramuscular was 66.7 mg (n = 234, 95% CI 60.3-73.1), intranasal was 56.5 mg (n = 10, 39.1-73.8), and intraosseous was 83.3 mg (n = 34, 66.3-100.4). Most had a medic or CLS in their chain of care (87%) with air evacuation as the primary mechanism of evacuation (86%). Conclusions: The average doses administered were generally larger than the doses recommended by Tactical Combat Casualty Care guidelines. Currently, guidelines may underdose analgesia. Our data will help inform materiel solutions based on end-user requirements.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E1426-E1430
JournalMilitary medicine
Issue number7-8
StatePublished - Jul 1 2023
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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