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Rapid sequence induction (RSI) in trauma patients:Insights from healthcare providers

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Bianca M. Wahlen1, Ayman El-Menyar2,3, Mohammad Asim2, Hassan Al-Thani4


1 Department of Anesthesia, Hamad General Hospital, Doha, Qatar


2 Clinical Research, Trauma & Vascular Surgery, Hamad General Hospital, Doha, Qatar


3 Clinical Medicine, Weill Cornell Medical College, Doha, Qatar


4 Department of Surgery, Trauma Surgery, Hamad General Hospital, Doha, Qatar


Corresponding Author: Ayman El-Menyar, Email: aymanco65@yahoo.com


© 2019 World Journal of Emergency Medicine


DOI: 10.5847/wjem.j.1920–8642.2019.01.003


BACKGROUND: We aimed to describe the current practice of emergency physicians and anaesthesiologists in the selection of drugs for rapid-sequence induction (RSI) among trauma patients.

METHODS: A prospective survey audit was conducted based on a self-administered questionnaire among two intubating specialties. The preferred type and dose of hypnotics, opioids, and muscle relaxants used for RSI in trauma patients were sought in the questionnaire. Data were compared for the use of induction agent, opioid use and muscle relaxant among stable and unstable trauma patients by the intubating specialties.

RESULTS: A total of 102 participants were included; 47 were anaesthetists and 55 were emergency physicians. Propofol (74.5%) and Etomidate (50.0%) were the most frequently used induction agents. Significantly higher proportion of anesthesiologist used Propofol whereas, Etomidate was commonly used by emergency physicians in stable patients (P=0.001). Emergency physicians preferred Etomidate (63.6%) and Ketamine (20.0%) in unstable patients. The two groups were comparable for opioid use for stable patients. In unstable patients, use of opioid differed significantly by intubating specialties. The relation between rocuronium and suxamethonium use did change among the anaesthetists. Emergency physicians used more suxamethonium (55.6% vs. 27.7%, P=0.01) in stable as well as unstable (43.4 % vs. 27.7%, P=0.08) patients.

CONCLUSION: There is variability in the use of drugs for RSI in trauma patients amongst emergency physicians and anaesthesiologists. There is a need to develop an RSI protocol using standardized types and dose of these agents to deliver an effective airway management for trauma patients.

(World J Emerg Med 2019;10(1):19–26)


KEY WORDS: Rapid-sequence induction; Trauma; Emergency physicians; Anaesthetists; Drugs

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