- Associated Press - Wednesday, June 27, 2018

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - A Minneapolis hospital system says it will halt clinical trials that seek consent from patients after treatment.

Hennepin Healthcare announced the move Tuesday, a day after it suspended a study on the use of the sedative ketamine on agitated people treated by paramedics.

Hennepin Healthcare’s chief medical officer, Dr. William Heegaard, told the Hennepin County Board that the decision comes in response to ethical concerns over the study. Heegaard defended the system’s practices but said that it wants to suspend its research and address complaints, the Star Tribune reported.

Heegaard didn’t say how many studies would be suspended. But he said studies with a “waiver of consent” policy will be halted unless stopping a study puts patients at risk.

“The community is hurting. I see it,” Heegaard said. “We don’t want to add to the pain and distrust. . We can do more.”



The use of sedatives overall has dropped in recent years among Hennepin Healthcare paramedics, but ketamine has been used more frequently, according to Heegaard. He attributed the increase to encounters with patients experiencing “profound agitation,” which he said is a condition that can be fatal without medical intervention.

Heegaard emphasized that paramedics didn’t use ketamine more frequently to serve the study.

“We only use it in life-threatening situations,” he said.

Paramedics’ use of ketamine during emergency calls has been the subject of an independent investigation commissioned by Minneapolis.

An investigation by the city’s Office of Police Conduct found that the number of documented ketamine injections during police calls increased from three in 2012 to 62 last year.

___

Information from: Star Tribune, http://www.startribune.com

Copyright © 2019 The Washington Times, LLC.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.

 

Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide