Brian Arthur Sellick (1918-1996)
Sellick was born at Dorking at the end of the Great War. He worked initially at
the Middlesex hospital in London and joined the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve
during the WW2. After the war he returned to service at the Middlesex Hospital.
He was one of the early anaesthetists for cardiac surgery and was
responsible for introducing the hypothermic anaesthesia for cardiac surgery.
While working at Middlesex Hospital, London, developed a method of applying
cricoid pressure the induction of anaesthesia so as to prevent aspiration
He demonstrated the efficacy of the manoeuvre using a cadaver. The stomach was
filled with fluid and the cadaver was then placed in the Trendelenburg position.
With cricoid pressure, regurgitation of fluid into the pharynx could be
prevented. There is also a “reverse Sellick” manoeuvre, used as an aid to
passing tubes or probes into the oesophagus.
Over the years the manoeuvre has been reassesed and modifications recommended, the work done by the likes of Vanner and Duggan has relinquisehed the need for applying the high pressure recomended by Sellick (44n) down to 30 newtons.