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Study: Anesthesia Drug Ketamine Harms Children’s Brain Activity

On Behalf of | Aug 7, 2013 | Dangerous Drugs, Surgical Errors


Ketamine is a commonly used anesthetic in pediatric operations, but it may be doing serious damage to young patients. According to a study published in Science Daily, children under age 3 who had lengthy exposure to ketamine during surgery displayed memory problems, learning disorders and behavioral issues once they reached school age.

Scientists cannot definitely prove that ketamine is responsible for the cognitive problems, but a prior neonatal laboratory rat study has linked ketamine to tau phosphorylation and neuronal toxicity in the development of neurons. The two studies provide enough evidence to raise caution and prompt further inquiry into the effects of ketamine on babies and toddlers.

Perhaps pediatric anesthesiologists should strongly consider alternatives to ketamine?

Anesthesia is one of the great inventions in the medical realm. It affords the patient comfort during surgery, thereby providing the surgeon with a decreased chance of distraction or patient interference. However, an anesthesia error can cause cardiac arrest, brain damage, or other permanent injuries such as those found in the ketamine studies.

If you or a family member has been seriously injured by an anesthesiologist’s negligence, it’s wise to discuss your legal rights with an experienced medical malpractice attorney.

McKeen & Associates, PC, is a civil justice firm that successfully represents anesthesia error victims throughout the nation. Based in Detroit, Michigan, McKeen & Associates has the skills and resources to build a strong medical malpractice case in any U.S. state or territory.

Source: Science Daily, “Pediatric Anesthetic Risk: Ketamine May Damage Children’s Learning Ability and Memory,” July 19, 2013


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