Etomidate for procedural sedation in the emergency department

Samuel M. Keim, Brian L. Erstad, John C. Sakles, Virgil Davis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


Study Objective. To review our experience with etomidate in nonintubated patients in the emergency department. Design. A 2-year retrospective chart review of consecutive patients receiving etomidate for sedation. Setting. Emergency department of a university-based teaching hospital. Patients. Forty-eight patients who underwent painful procedures in the emergency department. Measurements and Main Results. Demographics, dosing information, recovery times, and adverse events were abstracted using a standardized data collection form. Forty-eight nonintubated patients were sedated with etomidate. Mean age was 34 years (range 6-80 yrs); 38 were men and 10 women; two were children. The mean initial dose of etomidate was 13 mg. Adverse events occurred in 11 (21%) patients. None sustained any substantial morbidity as indicated by need for intubation, prolonged emergency department stay, or hospital admission. Conclusion. Although controversial, etomidate holds promise as a potent sedative agent for patients undergoing painful procedures in the emergency department. A large prospective evaluation is needed to document the performance and complications of this agent.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)586-592
Number of pages7
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jan 1 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology (medical)


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