Australian paramedics introduce new drug to calm violent patients

Researchers said droperidol is a safer, easier to administer alternative to midazolam for calming violent, intoxicated patients

By EMS1 Staff

QUEENSLAND, Australia — Australian paramedics are introducing a new drug to safely calm violent patients after testing it against a widely used sedative.

Science Daily reported that the Emergency Medicine Foundation Australasia supported the Queensland Ambulance service’s comparison of the drug droperidol with the world’s standard sedative, midazolam, and it was discovered that droperidol sedated patients nearly 70 percent quicker.

The study also found that droperidol was three times safer and fewer patients required further sedation afterward.

"Midazolam is the accepted standard internationally, but it can have significant side effects so there's been a huge gap in paramedics' ability to safely sedate violent patients," Lachlan Parker, executive manager of QAS’s clinical policy development, said. "Our paramedics and emergency department staff welcome the impact droperidol is having and there are some amazing stories of how it quickly it works to calm really aggressive and violent patients.”

"It's also simple to administer, there are much fewer side effects, it rarely over-sedates and patients wake up much nicer. We're so happy to finally have a safe drug to use,” Parker added.

Queensland Minister for Health and Ambulance Services Steven Miles said it is “fantastic” to see the positive impact the research has made.

“Projects like this highlight the importance of investing in medical research and finding new, more effective and more efficient ways of providing vital health services to Queenslanders,” he said.

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