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Guide and What to Expect (Sitter)

Thank you from Us

First of all, thank you for supporting your friend or family member through this process. Your support is invaluable and the commitment to caring for this person, simply with your presence and intention, is therapeutic.

Background on Ketamine

We want to reassure you that ketamine has been safely studied at wide dose ranges and has been used since the 1970s with an excellent safety profile. It’s been given safely at home at these dose ranges with minimal adverse events.

Your presence is reassuring to help assist in an unforeseen external situation that the person undergoing ketamine will be unable to attend to. You will be there to physically assure the safety of the patient. You do not need to be next to the patient at all times, just within reach if needed. You and your sitter can decide ahead of time how you want to communicate, verbally, or non-verbally.

Understand that ketamine is a dissociative medication and induces an altered state of mind. Hallucinations are possible, and while this is intended to be a therapeutic process – it can be frightening to the patient.

Your role as a Sitter

Reassuring the patient that they are okay and encouraging them to breathe deeply is an effective way to calm anxiety. These types of “difficult” experiences are possible but not the norm, and no other intervention other than waiting for the experience to end is required.

These mind-altering effects are in addition to ketamine’s powerful antidepressant and other medicinal properties which are part of the healing process within the context of this medically supervised program. Please understand that means that the patient may be unable to communicate normally, and will not be able to consent to any decisions during this time. The duration of the experience lasts on average 2 hours, but in rare cases lasts up to 3-6 hours.

If the patient has high blood pressure, you, as the sitter, may be asked to use the home blood pressure cuff and check the blood pressure prior to the treatment and every 30 minutes after being sure to record the values.

If this is a KetaCounseling session, we ask that you help connect our patients to their counselor through any telemedicine platform. If you have any questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to call 305.985.6170. In the unlikely event that you experience a medical emergency, please call 911.

To learn more about the experience your friend or family member is experiencing, read more about it here. 

Updated on December 23, 2020

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