Safety and Feasibility of a Ketamine Package to Support Emergency and Essential Surgery in Kenya when No Anesthetist is Available: An Analysis of 1216 Consecutive Operative Procedures.
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BACKGROUND: Lack of access to emergency and essential surgery is widespread in low- and middle-income countries. Scarce anesthesia services contribute to this unmet need. The aim of this study was to evaluate the safety and feasibility of the Every Second Matters for Emergency and Essential Surgery-Ketamine (ESM-Ketamine) package for emergency and essential procedures when no anesthetist was available. METHODS: From November 2013 to September 2017, the ESM-Ketamine package was used for patients requiring emergency or life-improving surgeries in fifteen selected facilities across Kenya when no anesthetist was available. A mixed-methods approach was used to assess safety and feasibility of the ESM-Ketamine package, including demand, acceptability, and practicality. The primary outcome was ketamine-related adverse events. Key-informant interviews captured perceptions of providers, hospital administrators, and surgeons/proceduralists. RESULTS: Non-anesthetist mid-level providers used ESM-Ketamine for 1216 surgical procedures across the fifteen study facilities. The median ketamine dose was 2.1 mg/kg. Brief (<30 s) oxygen desaturations occurred in 39 patients (3%), and prolonged (>30 s) oxygen desaturations occurred in seven patients (0.6%). There were 157 (13%) reported cases of hallucinations and agitation which were treated with diazepam. All patients recovered uneventfully, and no ketamine-related deaths were reported. Twenty-seven key-informant interviews showed strong support for the program with four main themes: financial considerations, provision of services, staff impact, and scaling considerations. CONCLUSIONS: The ESM-Ketamine package appears safe and feasible and is capable of expanding access to emergency and essential surgeries in rural Kenya when no anesthetist is available.
University of Nairobi
RightsAttribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 United States
- Faculty of Health Sciences (FHS) 
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