MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Hennepin Healthcare announced Tuesday that it would put a halt to its ketamine trial.

The hospital has been conducting studies for years on ketamine, a sedative that paramedics use for severely agitated or aggressive people.

But the sedative has been in the headlines over reports of police allegedly encouraging paramedics to use it.

“We are committed to the safety, wellness and providing the best possible care for our community and or patients,” said Dr. William Heegaard, the chief medical officer for Hennepin Healthcare.

Last week, Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey announced independent investigator and former U.S. attorney general Sally Yates would look into how the drug was being used.

Hennepin Healthcare says they would never conduct research without consent from patients, but said they want to be more transparent.

“We will look to other health care systems that are similar to ours for the best health care practices for community awareness, and we will learn from them,” Heegaard said.

Hennepin Healthcare also asked for a review of how its paramedics are using ketamine on patients.

Heegaard said the overall use of sedatives is actually down even though EMS calls are up.

Kate Raddatz

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