Cricoid Pressure: Apply—But Be Ready to Release

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(Abstracted from Anaesthesia, 1(9):999–1003, 2016)This editorial accompanies the article by Andruszkiewicz et al.1 on whether cricoid pressure (CP) occludes the esophagus. The editorial sought to address 3 core questions regarding the use of the CP maneuver with the intention of preventing passive regurgitation of stomach contents from the esophagus into the laryngopharynx during anesthesia induction: (1) What is the risk of pulmonary aspiration during anesthetic induction, and does CP reduce that risk? (2) What is the anatomy involved? (3) Is CP ever harmful?

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