Investigation Sought in Minneapolis Prehospital Ketamine Trials

From MedPage Today:

Following revelations last month about two controlled trials of ketamine for treating severe agitation — with drugs injected by first responders without the patients’ individual consent — the consumer group Public Citizen and dozens of independent physicians are calling for a federal investigation.

The Minneapolis Star Tribune newspaper published a series of stories in June detailing the trials, which were the first quasi-randomized studies comparing ketamine with traditional medications (i.e., haloperidol and midazolam) used to sedate agitated patients in emergency settings. The trials had been approved under a “waiver of consent” process, under which the investigators said risks were minimal; they also consulted beforehand with community groups, including patients in a homeless shelter under treatment for substance abuse.