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a technique to reduce the risk of the aspiration of stomach contents during induction of general anesthesia. The cricoid cartilage is pushed against the body of the sixth cervical vertebra, compressing the esophagus to prevent passive regurgitation. The technique cannot, however, stop active vomiting. Cricoid pressure is applied before intubation, immediately after injection of anesthetic drugs, and as a part of "rapid sequence" intubation. Once a mainstay of aspiration prevention, the effectiveness of this technique has recently been called into question. Cricoid pressure may also be used to move the larynx posteriorly to facilitate visualization during laryngoscopy. Also called Sellick's maneuver.
The application of manual pressure onto the cricoid cartilage during intubation and mechanical ventilation. This technique helps to occlude the esophagus and prevent the entry of air into the gastrointestinal tract during ventilation. It also diminishes the chances for regurgitation from the stomach and aspiration of gastric contents.
See also: pressure
cricoid pressure (krīˑ·koid preˑ·sher),
n technique used during general anesthesia to lessen the possibility of stomach content aspiration. The practitioner squeezes the cricoid cartilage against the sixth cervical vertebra to stop passive regurgitation. Does not work with active vomiting, however. Also called