Objectives: Obtaining prompt vascular access in young children presenting to the emergency department (ED) is frequently both necessary and technically challenging. The objective of our study was to describe our experience using intramuscular (IM) ketamine to facilitate the placement of central venous catheters in children presenting to our ED needing vascular access in a timely fashion. Methods: We performed a retrospective medical record review of all pediatric patients < 18 years of age who presented to our tertiary care pediatric ED between May 1, 1998, and August 7, 2003, and underwent the placement of a central venous catheter facilitated by the use of IM ketamine. Results: Eleven children met our inclusion criteria. Most of the children were young and medically complicated. The children ranged in age from 6 months to 8 years. The only complication identified was vomiting experienced by an 8-year-old boy. Emergency physicians successfully obtained central venous access in all subjects in the case series. Conclusions: The use of IM ketamine to facilitate the placement of central venous catheters in children who do not have peripheral venous access appears to be helpful. Emergency physicians may find it useful to be familiar with this use of IM ketamine.
- Central venous access