What is a CPR face shield and mouth piece?


Let’s learn what is a CPR face shield and mouth piece. We’ll also take a look at how to use them. Face shields and CPR masks are used while administering CPR to minimize the chances of contracting infections and can, in some cases, improve the rescue breath quality during CPR. As the American Red Cross explains, CPR face masks are now used as part of the training.

When it comes to using a CPR face shield (also commonly known as a barrier device), it’s important to understand that the device’s ultimate goal is to ensure the safety of both the administrator of the CPR and the person in need of help.

According to the American Heart Association, mount-to-mouth resuscitation is no longer encouraged as a go-to CPR method by untrained professionals. Instead, it’s recommended that bystanders use hands-only CPR (chest compressions) and call 911 immediately. Only trained individuals are fully prepared to perform mouth-to-mouth, mouth-to-nose, or mouth-to-mask ventilation.

But what is a CPR face shield and mouthpiece? Continue reading to learn about the basics of CPR face shields, as well as their primary use.

Difference between What is a CPR Face Shield and a Mask

In essence, a CPR face shield is a mask that’s laid on the victim’s face during CPR resuscitation. Even though chest compressions are the primary method of delivering first aid to an adult that’s lost consciousness, rescue breaths are still part of the practice, delivered by trained individuals.

Now, in the case of rescue breaths and face shields, they act as a barrier between the person that’s delivering CPR and the person receiving the help. In this situation, a bag valve mask can be used to provide positive pressure ventilation instead of mouth-to-mouth. That way, both are shielded from an exchange of bodily fluids, including potential bacteria. In recent first aid practices and as part of CPR training, face shields are becoming an essential part of personal protective equipment (PPE).

On the other hand, a resuscitation mask works in a way that forms an impermeable seal over the mouth and nose area of the victim. The CPR face mask contains a one-way valve that passes air through to the lungs without the danger of exposing the CPR administrator to the victim’s bodily fluids. Saliva, air, vomit, blood, or other bodily fluids can’t pass through the mask and transfer into the mouth of the caregiver. A CPR mask is an excellent method for infection control, contamination, respiratory secretions, and more.

CPR face shields are available in several sizes, like those for adults, infants, and children. There are such masks that come with a single one-way valve, but there are other CPR face shields that come with a big valve.

Using a CPR Face Shield and Mouthpiece

Today, the CPR face shield and mouthpiece are an inseparable part of the PPE of first responders. They help individuals safeguard their health as they deliver lifesaving strategies to people in need of medical assistance.

If you’ve sat through a first-aid class, you have probably seen the instructor administer CPR by starting chest compressions. Chest compressions are what stimulate blood to circulate through the body. After approximately thirty compressions, a trained individual may start delivering rescue breaths using a face mask.

When using a CPR face mask with a mouthpiece, it’s vital that the following steps are included:

      • Lay the mask on the casualty. The pointy end should be placed over the nose of the person receiving CPR. There is usually a diagram, or a chart on the CPR face shield explaining the proper positioning of the device.

      • Lightly press the shield on the person’s face to ensure it’s sealed. By doing so, you’ll prevent the air from escaping.

      • Tilt the person’s head toward the back gently. This is to ensure the airway is unconstricted. As you do so, ensure the shield stays in place (press it against the face of the patent again)

      • Start rescue breathing. Administer two rescue breaths after 30 chest compressions and check if the person’s chest rises as you blow the air inside their lungs.

      • Repeat the penultimate step until trained medical professionals arrive on the scene or after you’ve noticed the victim’s condition has improved (they’ve regained consciousness, started breathing again, or moving).

    Why Use a CPR Face Shield or a Mouthpiece

    As we mentioned, a CPR face shield is a barrier device that prohibits possible infections and contaminations, leaving the person receiving CPR and transferring to the caregiver. However, it’s important to understand that a resuscitation mask will not increase the effectiveness of CPR.

    An important conclusion arose from a recent scientific study aimed to showcase the correlation between mouth-to-mouth ventilation (MMV), mouth-to-pocket mask ventilation (MPV), and the quality of CPR. Namely, the results showed that MMV reduced the obtrusions in chest compressions and delivered a higher ratio of adequate ventilation during first-response CPR.

    Oftentimes, portable CPR face shields are used in a pre-hospital setting, providing medical help until a medical unit is dispatched to the scene. Using such masks, the CPR provider delivers proper ventilation during cardiac arrests and respiratory failure in out-of-hospital emergencies.

    For the success of CPR, oxygenation is paramount. As the process of elevating the blood oxygen via rescue breathing, oxygenation helps with cardiac resuscitation and increases the chances of the casualty regaining consciousness and restarting their pulse.

    When it comes to describing the advantages of using a CPR face shield with a mouthpiece, we can’t start without emphasizing the health aspect first. As we mentioned previously, other than ensuring the safety of the caregiver and the receiver of CPR, a CPR face shield with a mouthpiece is also beneficial for the following reasons:

        • It can be both reusable and disposable

        • CPR face shields are light, small, and easy to carry

        • They make mouth-to-mouth CPR a less stressful approach, eliminating intimate contexts. You’d be surprised to know that women get fewer CPR than men!

      Moreover, probably the most vital reason to use a face shield during CPR is in case of serious illnesses. HIV and illnesses contained in the hepatitis virus category are present in the blood and in other bodily fluids. In such cases, it’s always best not to risk your own health and engage in mouth-to-mouth right away. Instead, a CPR face shield or a mouthpiece with a one-way valve will deliver the rescue breaths effectively and safely.

      Carrying a CPR Face Shield or a Mouthpiece Is Not a Substitute for Training!

      However well-equipped and confident you might feel to perform CPR, nothing actually replaces professional training. Attending a CPR class will explain everything we’ve elaborated on and will give you a better outlook on the whole process of administering CPR.

      Even though a barrier device protects against transferrals of infections, viruses, and contaminants found in respiratory secretions and other bodily fluids, it isn’t enough to convey proper CPR. Granted, everyone can and should perform CPR as an emergency response, but previous training greatly increases the chances of successful resuscitation.

      Luckily, the AHA (American Heart Association), the U.S. Red Cross, and other reliable institutions offer CPR training classes for all individuals.

      The Final Say On What is a CPR Face Shield and Mouth Piece

      Being faced with a medical emergency that a stranger suffers, the first logical step is to take action. When it comes to a person losing consciousness and loss of breath, science says that CPR saves lives, and that’s a genuine statement. When done properly and with the right means, CPR (especially chest compressions) is a lifesaving technique that almost everyone can perform.

      To be able to perform CPR, whether you turn to mouth-to-mouth ventilation using a CPR face shield with a mouthpiece or do chest compressions instead, proper guidance is key. Even if you call 911 before doing anything to help a bystander regain consciousness, the emergency dispatcher will advise you to start chest compressions and then turn to mouth-to-mouth, mouth-to-nose, or mouth-to-mask ventilation. After the COVID pandemic was somewhat subdued, people started carrying pocket masks with them as a means to ensure safety in an emergency situation, like having to perform mouth-to-mouth on someone that has lost consciousness and stopped breathing. This should help you better understand what is a CPR face shield and mouth piece.