Skip to main content

Ketamine and midazolam mixture versus ketamine for analgesia/sedation in polytrauma patients with asthma


Ketamine and midazolam are among the most frequently used anesthetic agents. The other area of application is ICU. Bronchodilating properties of ketamine are well established. Unfortunately, ketamine exerts some side effects. Many researchers use benzodiazepines to cover these undesirable effects.

Study design

A prospective controlled study.


A general ICU.


To prove efficacy of ketamine and midazolam as an alternative for analgesia/sedation in asthma patients after polytrauma.


Using a model of Jahangir and colleagues [1], 14 patients with multiple injuries and history of asthma were included during their ICU stay (nine spontaneously breathing, five mechanically ventilated). Patients were randomised into two groups. Group 1 patients received an infusion of ketamine and midazolam. The two drugs were mixed in one syringe (50 mg ketamine and 5 mg midazolam). The mean rate of infusion for ketamine was 150–250 ng/kg/hour and for midazolam was 0.015–0.03 ng/kg/hour. Midazolam was added to eliminate the side effects of ketamine and for sedation. Group 2 patients received an infusion of ketamine only (0.2–0.4 mg/kg/hour). The following parameters of haemodynamics and ventilation were monitored: heart rate, mean arterial pressure, respiratory rate, arterial and end-expiratory PO2, arterial PO2, transcutaneous oxygen saturation SpO2, pulmonary compliance and resistance (in ventilated patients), and subjective perception of pain using the visual analogue scale (VAS 1–10 points), Ramsey sedation scale (wake and sleep levels), and rate of appearance of side effects. Ketamine in a mixture with midazolam led to insignificant changes in hemodynamics and only in group 2 patients were more significant changes noted (tachycardia and mild hypertension). Respiratory function remained well maintained except in some group 2 patients, where mild hyperventilation was noted. We documented an increase in respiratory compliance and a reduction in pulmonary resistance. Midazolam helped to prevent side effects after ketamine administration but after prolonged infusion of midazolam there were signs of an accumulation and an increase in doses was necessary. The VAS score (between 1 and 6) was almost similar in both groups. The Ramsey scale score was also similar (conscious level 3) but with some cases of agitation in group 2 patients.


Ketamine and midazolam as a mixture are a good alternative for analgesia/sedation in patients with asthma after multiple injuries. We consider higher doses are needed for better patient comfort.


  1. Jahangir SM, Islam F, Chowdhury SN, Aziz L, Ghani MA: Ketamine infusion for postoperative analgesia: a prospective cohort study in asthmatics. Bangladesh Med Res Counc Bull 1993, 19: 21-27.

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Gyurov, E., Milanov, S. & Milanov, M. Ketamine and midazolam mixture versus ketamine for analgesia/sedation in polytrauma patients with asthma. Crit Care 8 (Suppl 1), P242 (2004).

Download citation

  • Published:

  • DOI: