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A questionnaire survey examining rapid sequence induction techniques was sent to all anaesthetists in Wales. The questionnaire presented five common clinical scenarios: emergency appendicectomy; elective knee arthroscopy with a symptomatic hiatus hernia; elective knee arthroscopy with an asymptomatic hiatus hernia; elective Caesarean section; and emergency laparotomy for bowel obstruction. Completed surveys were received from 421 anaesthetists, a 68% response rate. Rapid sequence induction was chosen by 398/400 respondents (100%) for bowel obstruction, 392/399 (98%) for Caesarean section, 388/408 (95%) for appendicectomy, 328/395 (83%) for symptomatic hiatus hernia but only 98/399 (25%) for asymptomatic hiatus hernia (p < 0.001). Trainees were more likely to use a rapid sequence induction technique than consultants and staff grades for the appendicectomy (p = 0.025), symptomatic hiatus hernia (p = 0.004) and asymptomatic hiatus hernia (p = 0.001) scenarios and were also more likely to use a thiopental–suxamethonium combination for rapid sequence induction (p < 0.001).