Cricoid: To Press or Not to Press?

Just in case you still thought cricoid pressure was a good idea, listen to the RAGE team’s newest member John Hinds at smaccGOLD. Hinds is an anaesthetist, intensivist and a motorcycle-riding prehospital resuscitationist based in Northern Ireland. In this debate he will tell you about ‘cricolol’.

What?

John parodies cricoid pressure by encouraging us to imagine that this procedure is a drug… Yep, might as well use it as a suppository.

Would you give it?

RAGE listeners have already heard Scott Weingart in RAGE: smaccGOLD edition call this the ‘most brilliant cutting away at the knees of an opponent…”

Listen to the talk below (John starts about halfway through at 12min 55sec if you’re impatient).

Here are the slides to flick through as you listen:

Or why not go straight to the video:

BTW, big ups to Brent May for valiantly putting forward the case for cricoid pressure… An unenviable task.

Learn more here:

Otherwise check out John’s references:

  1. Sellick BA. Cricoid pressure to control regurgitation of stomach contents during induction of anaesthesia. Lancet 1961;2:404-6.
  2. Koziol CA, Cuddeford JD, Moos DD. Assessing the force generated with application of cricoid pressure. AORN journal 2000;72:1018-28, 30.
  3. Smith KJ, Dobranowski J, Yip G, Dauphin A, Choi PT. Cricoid pressure displaces the esophagus: an observational study using magnetic resonance imaging. Anesthesiology 2003;99:60-4.
  4. Hartsilver EL, Vanner RG. Airway obstruction with cricoid pressure. Anaesthesia 2000;55:208-11.
  5. Allman KG. The effect of cricoid pressure application on airway patency. Journal of clinical anesthesia 1995;7:197-9.
  6. Levitan RM, Kinkle WC, Levin WJ, Everett WW. Laryngeal view during laryngoscopy: a randomized trial comparing cricoid pressure, backward-upward-rightward pressure, and bimanual laryngoscopy. Annals of emergency medicine 2006;47:548-55.
  7. Garrard A, Campbell AE, Turley A, Hall JE. The effect of mechanically-induced cricoid force on lower oesophageal sphincter pressure in anaesthetised patients. Anaesthesia 2004;59:435-9.
  8. Chassard D, Tournadre JP, Berrada KR, Bouletreau P. Cricoid pressure decreases lower oesophageal sphincter tone in anaesthetized pigs. Canadian journal of anaesthesia = Journal canadien d’anesthesie 1996;43:414-7.
  9. Heath KJ, Palmer M, Fletcher SJ. Fracture of the cricoid cartilage after Sellick’s manoeuvre. British journal of anaesthesia 1996;76:877-8.
  10. Ralph SJ, Wareham CA. Rupture of the oesophagus during cricoid pressure. Anaesthesia 1991;46:40-1.

2 thoughts on “Cricoid: To Press or Not to Press?”

  1. If I was soft I would probably be offended in suggesting people bypass my part of the debate . . . . 😉

    Education is about balance, give all the information and allow people to make up their own minds.

    It is always a difficult task debating only one side of a topic, but I think the point was made?

    1. Cheers for being involved Brent.It is arbitrary who goes first – just giving the option of starting with John’s part, particularly as he has joined the RAGE podcast – certainly not advocating skipping the first part.
      I agree about giving people the chance to see both sides of the coin – otherwise as a cricoid pressure skeptic and co-convener of smaccGOLD this would have been a talk by one person rather than a debate!
      All the best
      Chris

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