Cricoid Pressure

Application of cricoid pressure entails the manual application of firm pressure at the level of the cricoid cartilage anteroposteriorly to occlude the esophagus and minimize the risk of aspiration. It should not be applied over the thyroid cartilage or over the entire larynx. It should be initiated immediately prior to the administration of the RSI drugs and not released until correct endotracheal tube position is confirmed. The amount of pressure should be graded according to the size of the patient. In smaller patients, the person applying cricoid pressure may wish to use the other hand under the neck to avoid altering the neck position.

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