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Anaesthesia. 2000 Mar;55(3):208-11.

Airway obstruction with cricoid pressure.

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1
Clinical Research Fellow and Specialist Registrar, Sir Humphry Davy Department of Anaesthesia, Bristol Royal Infirmary, Bristol BS2 8HW, UK.

Abstract

Cricoid pressure may cause airway obstruction. We investigated whether this is related to the force applied and to the technique of application. We recorded expired tidal volumes and inflation pressures during ventilation via a face-mask and oral airway in 52 female patients who were anaesthetised and about to undergo elective surgery. An inspired tidal volume of 900 ml was delivered using a ventilator. Ventilation was assessed under five different conditions: no cricoid pressure, backwards cricoid pressure applied with a force of 30 N, cricoid pressure applied in an upward and backward direction with a force of 30 N, backwards cricoid pressure with a force of 44 N and through a tracheal tube. An expired tidal volume of < 200 ml was taken to indicate airway obstruction. Airway obstruction did not occur without cricoid pressure, but did occur in one patient (2%) with cricoid pressure at 30 N, in 29 patients (56%) with 30 N applied in an upward and backward direction and in 18 (35%) patients with cricoid pressure at 44 N. Cricoid pressure applied with a force of 44 N can cause airway obstruction but if cricoid pressure is applied with a force of 30 N, airway obstruction occurs less frequently (p = 0.0001) unless the force is applied in an upward and backward direction.

PMID:
10671836
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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