Ketamine and Rocuronium: The New Etomidate and Succinylcholine?

Rapid Sequence Intubation (RSI) is one of the most critically important skills for an Emergency Medicine physician to be able to perform quickly and accurately. All airway management in the emergency department is performed on the unstable patient, often with unknown co-morbidities and a full stomach. In recent years, standard medication choices for induction were etomidate and succinylcholine. While other medications were proposed and tried, several were avoided for hypothetical side effects that have not borne out in recent research. Arguably, the modern combination of ketamine and rocuronium has less significant complications, and provides a superior alternative to etomidate and succinylcholine.

Emergency Medicine Education