BLS Certification Manual: Ventilation Equipment

CPR: Barrier Device - Pocket Mask
Pocket Mask (Barrier Device)

A pocket mask or barrier device should be used anytime ventilations are given. The pocket mask is a barrier device with a 1-way valve that allows air to pass into the victim's airway and not back to the rescuer. The mask should be placed over the victim’s nose and mouth with the rescuer using the index finger and thumb of the hand closest to the forehead to secure the top of the mask. The bottom of the mask should be secured by pressing downward against the chin to complete a seal around the airway. Once the seal has been created, the rescuer can breathe into the tube, pushing air into the lungs of the victim.

   
CPR: BVM
Bag Valve Mask (BVM)

A bag valve mask is a ventilation device that utilizes a bag and a 1-way valve to provide better ventilation assistance to a victim. This device, used in single or multiple rescuer CPR requires a sealing technique called the E-C clamp.  

E-C Clamp Technique

The E-C clamp technique is used to create a seal over the victims mouth and nose. The E-C clamp technique is completed in the following manner:  One hand of the rescuer should be placed on the mask with the thumb and index finger holding the mask over the nose and mouth (the C shape), and the remaining three fingers grasping the jaw (the E shape) to complete the airway seal.  With the remaining hand, the rescuer should squeeze the bag portion of the BVM, giving each breath for 1 second.  

Special Considerations for Infants and Children

Pocket masks and BVMs are made in adult, child and infant sizes. Be sure the pocket mask or BVM is age appropriate for the victim, fits securely and forms an airtight seal.