A shortcut review of the literature was carried out to establish whether the use of apnoeic oxygenation technique during endotracheal intubation reduces the incidence of critical desaturation. Four trials were found to be directly relevant to the three-part question. The author, date and country of publication, patient group studied, study type, relevant outcomes, results and study weaknesses of these papers are tabulated. The clinical bottom line is that there is emerging evidence that the use of apnoeic oxygenation decreases the incidence of critical desaturation during endotracheal intubation. Due to the heterogeneity of trials, however, further well-constructed and emergency department (ED)-based studies are probably warranted before conclusion can be drawn for daily emergency medicine practice.