What is the role of standard rapid sequence induction (RSI) techniques in the treatment of anaphylaxis?

Updated: May 16, 2018
  • Author: S Shahzad Mustafa, MD; Chief Editor: Michael A Kaliner, MD  more...
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Answer

Standard rapid sequence induction (RSI) techniques can be used but may cause loss of the airway in a patient whose airway anatomy is altered by edema. Severe laryngeal edema may occur so rapidly during anaphylaxis that endotracheal intubation becomes impossible. Epinephrine may rapidly reverse airway compromise. If the edema does not reverse promptly with epinephrine, an endotracheal tube should be inserted promptly. Alternatively, it may be preferable to defer intubation and instead ventilate with a bag/valve/mask apparatus in the interim.


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