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What Is Cricoid Pressure?

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    Posted: 09 Sep 2009 at 8:26am
What Is Cricoid Pressure?

Also known as the Sellick manoeuvre

The aim is to apply pressure indirectly to the oesophagus, thus occluding it and preventing reflux into the pharynx.

Pressure is applied to the cricoid cartilage which is a complete ring of cartilage encircling the lower part of the larynx. This pressure is transmitted to the structures behind, compressing them against the vertebral column. It is used as part of the rapid sequence induction when there is a suspected risk of reflux. It should not be maintained during active vomiting as oesophageal rupture may occur. It is recommended that 10 Newtons of pressure be applied to the cricoid before loss of consciousness which should be increased to 30 Newtons following loss of consciousness.

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