Skip to main content
Open Access Publications from the University of California

UC Irvine

UC Irvine Previously Published Works bannerUC Irvine

A retrospective data analysis on the induction medications used in trauma rapid sequence intubations and their effects on outcomes.


PURPOSE: Rapid sequence intubation (RSI) in trauma patients is common; however, the induction agents used have been debated. We determined which induction medications were used most frequently for adult trauma RSIs and their associations with hemodynamics and outcomes. We hypothesized that etomidate is the most commonly used induction agent and has similar outcomes to other induction agents. METHODS: This retrospective review at two U.S. level I trauma centers evaluated adult trauma patients undergoing RSI within 24 h of admission, between 01/01/2016 and 12/31/2017. We compared patient characteristics and outcomes by induction agent. Comparisons on the primary outcome of in-hospital mortality and secondary outcomes of peri-intubation hypotension, hospital and ICU length of stay (LOS), ventilator days, and complications used logistic regression or negative binomial regression. Regression models adjusted for hospital site, age, patient severity measures, and intubation location. RESULTS: Among 1303 trauma patients undergoing RSI within 24 h of admission, 948 (73%) were intubated in the emergency department (ED) and 325 (25%) in the operating room (OR). The most common induction agents were etomidate (68%), propofol (17%), and ketamine (11%). In-hospital mortality was highest in the etomidate group (25.5%), followed by ketamine (17%), and propofol (1.8%). CONCLUSION: Etomidate was most commonly used in ED intubations; propofol was most used in the OR. Compared to propofol, patients induced with etomidate had higher mortality and complication rates. Findings should be interpreted with caution given limited generalizability and residual confounding by indication.

Many UC-authored scholarly publications are freely available on this site because of the UC's open access policies. Let us know how this access is important for you.

Main Content
For improved accessibility of PDF content, download the file to your device.
Current View