Types of CPR masks or mouth barriers
When people think of CPR or performing CPR, they immediately think of having to breathe mouth to mouth on someone. This can be concerning for most people, especially in today’s pandemic world – but there is good news.
The first good news is that CPR and mouth to mouth respirations turns out to be exceptionally low risk for the public. There are no documented cases of anyone contracting HIV during the performance of CPR.
Secondly, there is a great mouth barrier on the market that will protect you.
I have been trained in CPR for about 47 years and an instructor for 28 years and about 33 years in the fire service performing CPR in the field. This is only to explain that I come from a place of experience and the utmost concern for anyone who attempts CPR in the real world. So, I believe that one should use a mouth barrier for the benefit of the victim and the protection of the rescuer.
But as you will discover not all mouth barriers are equal.
This barrier is an example of a Chinese import that uses a paper filter element as a one-way valve.
It comes with ear loops that secure the mask to the victim’s face. At face value (no pun intended) it looks like a fairly good concept for a barrier. But when put to use it doesn’t work so well and a closer look at the design leaves me very concerned. So here are the problems with this style mask.
- Providing breaths is exceedingly difficult once you attempt to open the mouth to deliver your 2 breaths. Because when you pull the chin down the barrier filter piece over the mouth moves, then you must adjust the mask again. It cantake you to 3-4 attempts to line up the mouthpiece with the open mouth. Otherwise, you may be blowing air onto the victim’s chin or upper lip.
- If the victim vomits and you do not remove the ear loops quick enough, then this mask becomes a plastic bag full of vomit. With vomit in the victim’s mouth, nose, and eyes.
- All these type masks are made in China and they are not medical devices.They are not FDA approved in the United States. They do not go through any type of testing. So, they import these masks into the U.S. under a novelty license, the same as toys. There has been no testing or certifying that these masks even protect you or perform as advertised.
- It is lacking a bite piece which means if the victim bites down and the jaw clenches shut, you will not be able to blow air into the victim’s mouth.
I only know of one CPR mouth barrier that solves all these problems. A company called Rondex manufactures their mouth barriers in the U.S. They do not use paper as the filter or one-way valve. In fact, they are the only mask I know of that has 2 one-way valves for your safety.
Their mask has a bite piece so if the victim does bites down you still have a way to ventilate your victim. This is also FDA tested and approved as a medical device.
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