Cricoid pressure – ?not so useless after all

An interesting MRI-based study of adult volunteers takes a further look at whether cricoid pressure effectively occludes the digestive tract. The authors assert that the part of the digestive tract at the level of the cricoid is the distal hypopharynx, that it is fixed in relation to the airway (making the previously demonstrated lateral oesophageal displacement irrelevant), and that the lumen may be obliterated during Sellick’s manouevre.
Accompanying pro and con editorials reaffirm the need for further clinical evidence on the effectiveness of the technique.
Cricoid pressure results in compression of the postcricoid hypopharynx: the esophageal position is irrelevant
Anesth Analg. 2009 Nov;109(5):1546-5

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