Objectives—To determine the current position regarding the use of rapid sequence induction (RSI) by accident and emergency (A&E) medical staff and the attitudes of consultants in A&E and anaesthetics towards this.
Methods—A questionnaire was designed that was distributed to consultant anaesthetists and A&E physicians in hospitals receiving over 50 000 new A&E patients per year.
Results—A total of 140 replies were received (a response rate of 72%). The breakdown of results is shown. There was wide difference of opinion between anaesthetists and A&E consultants as to who performs RSI at present in their A&E departments, however two thirds of anaesthetists thought A&E staff with appropriate training and support should attempt RSI either routinely or in certain circumstances.
Conclusions—A&E staff in several hospitals routinely undertake RSI and the majority of A&E consultants thought that RSI would be undertaken by A&E staff if an anaesthetist were unavailable. There is disagreement regarding the length of anaesthetic training required before A&E medical staff should undertake RSI.
- rapid sequence induction
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Conflict of interest: none.