Introduction Rapid sequence induction (RSI) of critically ill patients outside of theatres is associated with a higher risk of hypoxia, cardiovascular collapse and death. In the prehospital and military environments, there is an increasing awareness of the benefits of standardised practice and checklists.
Methods We conducted a non-systematic review of literature pertaining to key components of RSI preparation and management. A standard operating procedure (SOP) for in-hospital RSI was developed based on this and experience from large teaching hospital anaesthesia and critical care departments.
Results The SOP consists of a RSI equipment set-up sheet, pre-RSI checklist and failed airway algorithm. The SOP should improve RSI preparation, crew resource management and first pass intubation success while minimising adverse events.
Conclusion Based on the presented literature, we believe the evidence is sufficient to recommend adoption of the core components in the suggested SOP. This standardised approach to RSI in the critically ill may reduce the current high incidence of adverse events and hopefully improve patient outcomes.