Myth: Atropine should be administered before succinylcholine for neonatal and pediatric intubation

Bethany Fleming, Maureen McCollough, Henderson O Henderson
CJEM 2005, 7 (2): 114-7
Succinylcholine is often used to facilitate neonatal and pediatric rapid sequence intubation in the emergency department, and most relevant literature recommends administering atropine prior to succinylcholine to reduce the risk of bradycardia. Given the potential complications associated with combining these medications, we searched the published literature for evidence supporting this practice. Most studies recommending atropine premedication were undertaken in the operating room setting and pertained to repeated succinylcholine dosing. Furthermore, there is little published evidence to indicate that succinylcholine-related bradycardia is a clinically important side effect. Several authors have called for the practice to cease, but, to date, these calls have gone unheeded. We found no evidence supporting atropine's use in pediatric patients prior to single-dose succinylcholine. Atropine premedication for emergency department rapid sequence intubation is unnecessary and should not be viewed as a "standard of care."

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"