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Remifentanil use in emergency department patients: initial experience
  1. Alfred Sacchetti1,
  2. Jennifer Jachowski2,
  3. Josephine Heisler1,
  4. Teena Cortese1
  1. 1Departments of Emergency Medicine, Our Lady of Lourdes Medical Center, Camden, New Jersey, USA
  2. 2Department of Emergency Medicine, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
  1. Correspondence to Professor Alfred Sacchetti, Department of Emergency Medicine, Our Lady of Lourdes Medical Center, 1600 Haddon Avenue, Camden, NJ 08103, USA; sacchetti1011{at}


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.

  • Analgesia pain control
  • cardiac care
  • emergency department
  • paediatrics
  • procedural sedation
  • remifentanil
  • ventilation

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  • Competing interests None.

  • Ethics approval This study was approved by the Institutional Review Board of Our Lady of Lourdes Medical Center, Camden, NJ, USA, which is the ethics committee for our institution.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data sharing statement If anyone is interested we will be glad to provide a blinded copy of the data base we used to collect the information for this study. To obtain this data please contact: Alfred Sacchetti at