Rocuronium for rapid sequence intubation of emergency department patients

John C. Sakles, Erik G Laurin, Aaron A. Rantapaa, Edward A Panacek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Rocuronium is a recently synthesized non-depolarizing neuromuscular blocking agent (NMBA) that has been demonstrated to have a faster onset of action than any other non-depolarizing NMBA. Although widely studied in the operating room, there are no reports regarding its use for emergent tracheal intubation in the emergency department (ED). The purpose of this study was to evaluate the use of rocuronium for rapid sequence intubation (RSI) in ED patients. An intubation data collection form was completed prospectively for any patient receiving rocuronium for RSI in the ED from July 1-December 31, 1997. Two hundred eighty-eight patients were intubated in the ED over this six-month period, of whom 261 (91%) underwent RSI. Fifty-eight of the patients undergoing RSI received rocuronium for paralysis (22%). The most common reason reported for use of rocuronium was a concern regarding hyperkalemia (53%). The mean dose used was 1.0 ± 0.2 mg/kg. The mean onset to paralysis was 45 ± 15 s. Of the complications reported, none appeared to be related to rocuronium. Use of rocuronium in the ED setting appears useful.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)611-616
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Emergency Medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1999


  • Emergency department intubations
  • Neuromuscular blocking agent
  • Rapid sequence intubation
  • Rocuronium
  • Succinylcholine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine


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