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Mouth-to-mask ventilation

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VOL: 98, ISSUE: 13, PAGE NO: 45

PHIL JEVON, RESUSCITATION OFFICER, MANOR HOSPITAL, WALSALL

Sponsored by Pfizer

A well-fitting pocket mask is an effective method of ventilation when used by a trained practitioner. It is ideal if there is only one person available to provide ventilation.

A well-fitting pocket mask is an effective method of ventilation when used by a trained practitioner. It is ideal if there is only one person available to provide ventilation.

Common characteristics of the pocket mask include:

- Transparency in design to enable prompt detection of vomit or blood in the airway

- A nipple for the attachment of supplementary oxygen

- A one-way valve to direct the patient's expired air away from the practitioner, thus reducing the risk of transmission of infection.

As with other methods of ventilation, it is important to minimise the risk of gastric inflation and the associated complications. Breaths should be delivered slowly over two seconds and, if possible, cricoid pressure should be applied. Attention should also be given to the tidal volumes delivered.

If supplementary oxygen is possible, smaller tidal volumes (400-600ml) will be sufficient to maintain adequate oxygenation. However, if this is not possible, higher tidal volumes (700-1000ml) will be required, as with mouth-to-mouth ventilation (Resuscitation Council (UK), 2000). In practice this is difficult to measure, and practitioners should observe for signs of visible chest movement with each inflation.

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