Rapid-sequence intubation and cricoid pressure

Int J Crit Illn Inj Sci. 2014 Jan;4(1):42-9. doi: 10.4103/2229-5151.128012.

Abstract

Airway management is the most important clinical skill for anesthesiologist, emergency physician, and other providers who are involved in oxygenation and ventilation of the lungs. Rapid-sequence intubation is the preferred method to secure airway in patients who are at risk for aspiration because it results in rapid unconsciousness (induction) and neuromuscular blockade (paralysis). Application of cricoid pressure (CP) for patients undergoing rapid-sequence intubation is controversial. Multiple specialty societies have recommended that CP is not effective in preventing aspiration; rather it may worsen laryngoscopic view and impair bag-valve mask ventilation. Some experts think that CP should be applied in trauma and patients at risk for aspiration; however CP, if necessary, should be altered or removed to facilitate intubation.

Keywords: Aspiration; cricoid pressure; rapid-sequence intubation.