How to use a pocket mask in CPR

The pocket resuscitation mask is widely used by first aiders and first responders. It enables mouth-to-mouth ventilation without coming into direct contact with the patient’s mouth. The pocket mask also has a unidirectional valve to direct the patient’s expired air away from the rescuer.

The masks are transparent to allow vomit or blood to be seen and quickly dealt with. Some masks also have a port for supplemental oxygen.

The main difficulty when using a pocket mask is maintaining an airtight seal between the mask and the face.

How to use a pocket mask in CPR

  1. Ensure the head is tilted back to open the airway
  2. Apply the mask to the patient’s face using the thumbs of both hands
  3. Lift the jaw into the mask using your fingers behind the angle of the patient’s jaw
  4. Press the mask into the face to create a tight seal
  5. Blow through the inlet and watch the chest rise
  6. Give each breath over approximately 1 second, take care not to overinflate lungs
  7. Reduce any leaks between the face and mask by adjusting your grip

The risks of blowing air into the stomach and subsequent regurgitation/vomiting are increased by blowing too hard. It is important to ensure each breath only lasts 1 second and is just enough to cause the chest to rise and fall.

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