Degree Name

Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)

Document Type

Major Paper


School of Nursing




Post-operative pain is accompanied with strong emotional and physical responses which may often discourage the healing process. Acute pain serves as a physical warning sign to the patient but when left unchecked, the acute pain process can increase nociceptor sensitivity and ultimately lead to chronic pain syndromes. Currently, it is thought that providing pain medication to block pain receptors prior to nociception might decrease the development of, or severity of, pain. Some practitioners have used ketamine as an adjunct pain medication perioperatively to decrease pain. The purpose of this review is to investigate the efficacy of Ketamine administered in a pre-hospital or pre-surgical setting on the overall pain management of surgical patients A literature search was performed on PubMed and Medline and using the PRISMA flowchart, and appropriate studies were identified. Each study was critically appraised and organized into tables to organize related variables and results. Variables included ketamine dosing, route of administration, the use of opioid or local anesthetic for comparison, type of surgery, and the length of duration into the post-operative period that pain scores were recorded. This systematic review supports that preemptive ketamine reduces acute pain in the immediate post-operative period.