How to perform mouth to pocket mask ventilation

A pocket mask can be used when performing CPR. Pocket masks are widely used and commonly available. They have a unidirectional valve, directing patient’s expired air away from rescuee. Most masks are transparent, allowing blood and vomit to be seen.

Some masks have oxygen port, allowing supplemental oxygen to be given. Use the 2-handed technique to maximise the chances of obtaining a good seal with the patient’s face.

How to use a pocket mask in CPR

  1. Place the patient supine with the head in a ‘sniffing’ position i.e. neck slightly flexed with head extended (tilted backwards) on the neck
  2. Apply the mask to the patients face using the thumbs of both hands
  3. Lift the jaw into the mask with the remaining fingers by exerting pressure behind the angles of the jaw (jaw thrust). At the same time, press the mask onto the face with the thumbs to make a tight seal
  4. Blow through the inspiratory valve and watch the chest rise
  5. Stop inflation and observe the chest falling
  6. Any leaks between the face and mask can be reduced by adjusting the contact pressure, altering the position of the fingers and thumbs, or increasing jaw thrust
  7. If oxygen is available, add via port at flow rate of 10 L/min

Two-handed grip

The following photograph demonstrates two potential ways of performing a two-handed grip when using a pocket mask. 

John Furst

JOHN FURST is an experienced emergency medical technician and qualified first aid and CPR instructor. John is passionate about first aid and believes everyone should have the skills and confidence to take action in an emergency situation.

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