Why is cricoid pressure (Sellick maneuver) no longer recommended?
Cricoid pressure was recommended for rapid sequence intubation for many years as a means of preventing gaseous distention of the stomach from bag-valve-mask ventilation and passive regurgitation with aspiration during the intubation procedure. However, cricoid pressure can compress the trachea, making passage of the endotracheal tube more difficult. It often displaces the esophagus laterally, and there is little evidence that it decreases the risk of aspiration. The American Heart Association in their 2010 guidelines no longer recommends cricoid pressure for emergent intubations.
American Heart Association: 2010 Guidelines for Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation and Emergency Cardiovascular Care. Part 14: Pediatric Advanced Life Support. Circulation 2010;122(18):876-908.
Butler J, Sen A: Best evidence topic report. Cricoid pressure in emergency rapid sequence induction. Emerg Med J 2005;22(11):815-816.