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AACN Advanced Critical Care:
doi: 10.1097/NCI.0000000000000002

Ketorolac as an Analgesic Agent for Infants and Children After Cardiac Surgery: Safety Profile and Appropriate Patient Selection

Jalkut, Meredith K. RN, MSN, CRNP

Continued Education
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Ketorolac has been used safely as an analgesic agent for children following cardiac surgery in selected populations. Controversy exists among institutions about the risks involved with this medication in this patient group. This article reviews the current literature regarding the safety of ketorolac for postoperative pain management in children after cardiac surgery. Specifically, concerns about renal dysfunction and increased bleeding risk are addressed. Additionally, the article details pharmacokinetics and potential benefits of ketorolac, such as its opioid-sparing effect. The literature reflects that the use of this medication is not well studied in certain pediatric cardiac patients such as neonates and those with single-ventricle physiology, and the safety of this medication in regards to these special populations is reviewed. In conclusion, ketorolac can be used in specific pediatric patients after cardiac surgery with minimal risk of bleeding or renal dysfunction with appropriate dosing and duration of use.

© 2014 American Association of Critical–Care Nurses


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