Rapid sequence induction: a questionnaire survey of its routine conduct and continued management during a failed intubation

A J Thwaites, C P Rice, I Smith
Anaesthesia 1999, 54 (4): 376-81
Two hundred and ten obstetric anaesthetists completed a questionnaire assessing how they would perform a rapid sequence induction of anaesthesia for a Caesarean section and their continued management during a failed tracheal intubation. The survey revealed considerable variation in the timing and application of cricoid pressure, the choice and dose of drugs used and the timing of their administration. The management of a difficult intubation also varied. This variability was independent of both grade of anaesthetist and frequency of practice. There appear to be at least two distinct techniques in current practice, characterised by 'fast' or 'slow' rapid sequence induction. Rapid sequence induction is clearly not a standard technique and debate is necessary to clarify the risks and benefits of its components. In particular, the rapidity of the technique and the application of cricoid pressure may contribute to the increased incidence of difficult tracheal intubation in obstetric anaesthesia.


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