Objective. We conducted this study to evaluate the clinical outcomes of patients with severe sepsis and septic shock who were treated with ketamine for endotracheal intubation.
Methods. A single-center, retrospective study was carried out to compare the outcomes of patients with severe sepsis and septic shock who received a ketamine or non-ketamine agent for rapid sequence intubation (RSI). We analyzed the sepsis registry for adult patients who presented to the emergency department (ED), met the criteria for severe sepsis or septic shock, and underwent endotracheal intubation between August 2008 and March 2014. The primary outcome was 28-day mortality. We performed a multivariable logistic regression analysis to assess the association between ketamine use for intubation and 28-day mortality.
Results. In all, 170 patients were intubated during the study period. Of the eligible patients, 95 received ketamine and 75 received a non-ketamine agent. The 28-day mortality of the ketamine group was not significantly different from that of the non-ketamine group (38% vs. 40%, respectively, P=0.78). The unadjusted odds ratio (OR) of ketamine use for 28-day mortality was 0.92 (95% CI: 0.49–1.70, P=0.78). The association remained insignificant after adjusting for age, gender, malignancy, initial lactate level on ED admission, time to first antibiotic administration, Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation II score on admission day, and propensity score regarding ketamine use (adjusted OR: 1.09; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.49–2.40; P=0.84). Initial serum lactate on ED admission was the only significant predictive factor of 28-day mortality (adjusted OR: 1.23; 95% CI: 1.10–1.38; P<0.01).
Conclusions. For patients with severe sepsis and septic shock who were intubated using RSI, we found no significant difference in 28-day mortality between those who received ketamine as a sedative agent and those who received alternative sedatives.
Key words: sepsis, ketamine, intubation, mortality