We have seen a rise in patients coming to us after having received treatments in other clinics offering ketamine therapy. After hearing of the experiences some of our patients have described, we feel it is important to set two ground rules for what every patient should look for and expect from any center offering ketamine infusions.
What to expect from a clinic offering ketamine infusions:
1. Anyone supervising ketamine infusions should be ACLS certified and certified in the use of anesthetics.
Ketamine is not a benign drug. It can cause allergic reactions, changes in blood pressure, increases in heart rate, and surgical level sedation. High doses may be given over a prolonged period of time when treating different pain conditions. At any point in time, an allergy or a rare complication may develop.
Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs) and Anesthesiologists are highly trained in the use of anesthetics. They are able to provide and supervise many different forms of anesthesia, from peripheral nerve blocks, to sedation, to general anesthesia. This training offers the safest and most prudent supervision for ketamine infusions.
2. Every infusion should be supervised throughout its entirety, without any interruptions.
The most common complaint we have heard from our transferring patients is that they were left alone and unsupervised during an infusion. This is a dangerous and highly unsafe practice. In these cases, patients may be underdosed during their infusions, while the person who was supposed to be supervising is gone doing other tasks or checking in on other infusions.
Infusions should always be monitored with an EKG recording, pulse oximetry for oxygen saturation, blood pressure readings every 5 minutes, and level of consciousness check. Furthermore, it is important to record pre-infusion vital signs and ensure the vital signs have returned to baseline after each infusion. Every clinic should always check to ensure the patient has a ride home following infusions.
Most importantly, the infusion supervisor should be trained in Basic and Advanced Life Support and have oxygen and an AED device available, as well as the ability to provide rescue breathing in the case of an emergency.
We hope these 2 simple rules will help you choose the right ketamine clinic in your area. Reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have more questions on how to choose the right clinic.