The prevention of gastric inflation--a neglected benefit of cricoid pressure

Anaesth Intensive Care. 1988 May;16(2):139-43. doi: 10.1177/0310057X8801600202.


The ability of cricoid pressure to prevent inflation of the stomach during mask ventilation of a patient was studied. Fifty patients were randomly allocated to either have or not have cricoid pressure applied during a three-minute period of standardised mask ventilation. Patients who had had cricoid pressure applied had less gas in the stomach after mask ventilation (P less than 0.001). However, in a subgroup of patients considered difficult to ventilate, cricoid pressure seemed less successful in preventing gastric inflation. Cricoid pressure is a useful technique for reducing gastric inflation during mask ventilation, particularly in patients who are relatively easy to ventilate.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Cricoid Cartilage*
  • Female
  • Gases*
  • Humans
  • Intermittent Positive-Pressure Ventilation*
  • Laryngeal Cartilages*
  • Male
  • Masks
  • Middle Aged
  • Positive-Pressure Respiration*
  • Pressure
  • Random Allocation
  • Stomach / physiology*


  • Gases