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Using the Bag & Mask

Using the Bag and mask in an emergency situation can be a lot different to it's use on a training mannequin or dummy. The main differences are:

Contamination
Contamination of the equipment by patient aspiration making ventilation difficult. Blood etc. can make the equipment difficult to use. The Internal parts may become partially or completely blocked. Non-Patient contamination can take place. Animal faeces, urine, mould, chemicals etc. You name it!

To avoid this as much as you can by placing your equipment on a plastic bag laid out on the floor beside you. Most Services use different colour coded bags of various sizes and any of these are ideal.

Seal
Getting a seal on some patients can be much more difficult. For a start no mannequin's seem to have beards. Or strange shapes or have injuries to the face or head. Getting a seal on a guy with severe facial trauma is almost impossible. Intubation is required in this type of patient.

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Using the Bag & mask with an ET tube
Once your patient is intubated and you have verified good and equal air entry you are then giving your hands and your partner a little more freedom to get on with other tasks. Try squeezing the bag with your foot or your knee whilst drawing up drugs etc. You'll be surprised how easily you get used to it.

Tip!
With those intubated patients in cardiac arrest you need to take your hands away from the bag to do compressions. The bag starts rolling around or falling off the side of the trolley! Try placing the bag onto the patients upper chest/neck and tape the distal end of the bag onto the patient's shoulder. This keeps the bag in place while you need to do 100 other things.
 

Using the Bag & mask with an ET tube
Once your patient is intubated and you have verified good and equal air entry you are then giving your hands and your partner a little more freedom to get on with other tasks. Try squeezing the bag with your foot or your knee whilst drawing up drugs etc. You'll be surprised how easily you get used to it.

Tip!
With those intubated patients in cardiac arrest you need to take your hands away from the bag to do compressions. The bag starts rolling around or falling off the side of the trolley! Try placing the bag onto the patients upper chest/neck and tape the distal end of the bag onto the patient's shoulder. This keeps the bag in place while you need to do 100 other things.
 

All information in this section is for guidance and advice only and is assumed to be correct at the time of publishing. Check with your local training department before carrying any of the procedures in this section. The Paramedic Resource Centre cannot be held responsible for any error or omission in any page on this site.

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