Ketamine used instead of morphine to treat severe injuries
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Here's an interesting tidbit: some paramedics in Auckland are now using ketamine in the field to treat severe injury instead of using morphine:
Auckland Rescue Helicopter Trust medical director Dr John Orton said ketamine superseded morphine in many situations.
"Certain pains are fairly easily manageable with morphine-type drugs, but the excruciating acute pain of acute injury is extremely hard to get on top of with morphine.
"We're talking about 10-tonne tractors rolled on top of people ... or typical quad bike idiots ... they flip it and they've got two broken legs below the knee pointing at right angles but otherwise they're uninjured.
"You've got to straighten these limbs out and splint them. If you try to do that without this sort of agent, it's horrible -- you cause excruciating discomfort. So to be able to do this in the field is a major bonus."
That's right, "quad bike idiots," ketamine could someday be coming to your rescue. The whole article popped up under the headline "Date rape drug used as painkiller," but I suspect this is because most copy editors are instructed to replace the first appearance of "ketamine" and "GHB" in an article with "date rape drug" - heck, it's probably built into the software they use to send the paper off to the presses.