What are the steps for rapid sequence intubation (RSI) preparation?

Updated: Apr 07, 2020
  • Author: Keith A Lafferty, MD; Chief Editor: Guy W Soo Hoo, MD, MPH  more...
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Confirm that intubation equipment is functional.

Assess the patient for difficult airway (see Difficult Airway Assessment section below for recommended method). If the patient meets criteria for difficult airway, rapid sequence intubation (RSI) may be inappropriate. Nonparalysis procedures may be an alternative. The assistance of anesthesia personnel may be warranted.

Establish intravenous access.

Draw up essential drugs and determine sequence of administration (induction agent immediately followed by paralytic agent).

Review possible contraindications to medications.

Attach necessary monitoring equipment.

Check endotracheal (ET) tube cuff for leak.

Ensure functioning light bulb on laryngoscope blade.

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