Etomidate for Procedural Sedation in the Emergency Department

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


Pharmacotherapy. 2002;22(5) 

In This Article


Our experience with etomidate indicates that the agent may have benefits when administered for procedural sedation but may be associated with adverse events. Because administration of etomidate for sedation appears to be increasing, hospital and department policies for monitoring the practice and granting privileges will need to be addressed at each institution. Better methods, which will allow quantification of depth of sedation, may allow finer titration of potent sedatives like etomidate. A large, prospective study is needed to clearly define the efficacy and extent of adverse events related to administration of etomidate for sedation. We are pursuing such research at our institution.