DL Terminated

Of all the things that emergency physicians do, rapid sequence induction has to be the most sinister.

To paralyse a man, or a woman, or a child, with a lethal serum – and then bring them back, from the point of death, with seconds to spare! With nothing more than a trusty metal blade, held in the left hand, and air blown through a tube!

It is an amazing magic trick. Surely some sort of voodoo. And frightening, very frightening, when it goes wrong. About 1% of rapid sequence inductions, conducted in the ED, kill the patient within 10 minutes. Which makes RSI about 25 times more dangerous than BASE jumping.

This is why some have suggested that RSI should also stand for Really Stupid Idea.

Now imagine if something came along, a technological breakthrough, a new machine, that transformed RSI. That made it, well, easy. And safe. Actually, a Really Sensible Idea. How would you feel?

And what would you say if this machine were coming very soon, coming at you – from the near future. In fact – it’s just arrived. And that trusty metal blade that you are holding in your left hand – is now scheduled for termination.

What do you do? Give up? Or fight?

I’ll be back.

Jo is an emergency medicine specialist based on the Sunshine Coast. He has qualifications in high fidelity simulation, aeromedical retrieval and point of care ultrasound, and a special interest in educational videography | @FlippEM |

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