Control of neuropathic pain (NP) for children at end of life is challenging. Ketamine improves control of NP, but its use in children is not well described. We describe a retrospective case review of 14 children with terminal prognoses treated with ketamine patient-controlled analgesia (PCA) for management of opioid-refractory NP at the end of life. Median ketamine dose was 0.06 mg/kg/h (range 0.014-0.308 mg/kg/h) with a 0.05 mg/kg (range 0.03-0.5mg/kg) demand dose available every 15 minutes (range 10-60 minutes). All patients noted subjective pain relief with ketamine, and 79% had no adverse effects. Benzodiazepines limited neuropsychiatric side effects. Ketamine treatment arrested dose escalation of opioids in 64% of patients, and 79% were discharged to home hospice. Ketamine PCA is an effective, well-tolerated therapy for opioid-refractory NP in pediatric end-of-life care.
from American Journal of Hospice and Palliative Medicine current issue http://ift.tt/1XDvadt