Introduction: This study examines the use of remifentanil, an ultra-short-acting opioid, in emergency department (ED) patients.
Methods: Chart review of ED patients receiving remifentanil for procedural sedation in an urban general ED.
Results: 50 patients over a 28-month period with a mean age of 30.6 years (±2.6) were reviewed. Procedures performed included: abscess drainage (13); fracture care (9); thoracostomy (8); lumbar puncture (7); shoulder reduction (3); cardioversion (3) and others (7). Six (12%) cases received additional rescue medications. All procedures were successfully completed in the ED. No complications were recorded but 21 (42%) were admitted for underlying pathology.
Conclusion: Remifentanil is a safe and effective medication for ED use.