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To determine whether or not apnoeic oxygenation reduces the incidence of hypoxaemia during endotracheal intubation.A systematic search of six databases for all relevant studies until November 2016 was performed. All study designs using apnoeic oxygenation during intubation were eligible for inclusion. All studies were assessed for level of evidence and risk of bias. A meta-analysis was performed on all data using Revman 5.3.Seventeen studies including 2422 patients were retrieved. Overall there was a significant reduction in the incidence of desaturation (RR = 0.65; p < 0.00001), critical desaturation (RR = 0.61, p = 0.002) and safe apnoea time (WMD = 1.73 min, p < 0.00001). There was no significant difference in mortality (RR = 0.77, p = 0.08).In patients whom are being intubated for any indication other than respiratory failure, apnoeic oxygenation at any flow rate 15 L or greater is likely to reduce their incidence of desaturation (< 90%) and critical desaturation (< 80%). However, further high quality RCTs are required given the high degree of heterogeneity in many of the outcomes and subgroup analyses.This review summarises a growing body of literature surrounding apnoeic oxygenation during intubation.Meta-analysis of seventeen studies including 2,422 patients.Overall there was a significant reduction in the incidence of desaturation, critical desaturation and an increase in safe apnoea time.