CPR, or cardiopulmonary resuscitation, is a method used to revive an individual suffering from a cardiac arrest or respiratory failure. During CPR, one of the essential components is providing rescue breaths or giving mouth-to-mouth. Given the close contact during rescue breaths, there is a realistic risk of disease transmission through bodily fluids and airborne particles. So, professional protective equipment has been created, with CPR face shields and mouth pieces proving to be the most popular and widely used ones.
The CPR face shield and mouth piece protect both the caregiver and the victim during the application of CPR. Whenever they are available, they should be used without exception. On top of providing safety, they also help the rescuer be more efficient with the care they provide, as the structure enhances the rescue breaths.
In this article, we will delve into what is a CPR face shield and mouth piece, how they work, how to pick the right ones for your needs, the training and certification required, their applications in different industries, and where to buy them.
What is a CPR Face Shield and Mouth Piece?
While performing CPR, direct contact with the patient’s mouth is inevitable. This contact presents the risk of exposure to bodily fluids, such as blood, saliva, and airborne respiratory particles, which may contain potentially dangerous microbes. CPR face shields and mouth pieces act as direct physical barrier devices, protecting the rescuer and the patient.
A CPR face shield typically comprises a transparent plastic sheet featuring a one-way valve. The valve allows the person administering CPR to deliver breaths to the victim, preventing any backflow of air or fluids. It acts as a physical barrier, preventing direct contact between the rescuer and the victim’s mouth and nose.
On the other hand, the CPR mouth piece is a small, disposable device that fits over the patient’s mouth and, sometimes, the nose. A one-way valve ensures airflow from the caregiver to the victim without contamination. Since the mouth piece provides an airtight seal, it allows for rescue breaths to be delivered, increasing their effectiveness.
The primary objective of using CPR face shields and mouth pieces is to stay safe by preventing the transfer of saliva and bodily fluids, which may contain potential diseases between you and the victim you are helping. These tools are particularly crucial in situations where the victim’s status in terms of infections is either unknown or likely. Protective devices like face shields and mouth pieces dramatically reduce the likelihood of cross-contamination between you and the victim.
Types of CPR Face Shields and Mouth Pieces
There are a couple of different types of CPR face shields and mouth pieces available, each with unique features and advantages:
- Flat Plastic Barriers: These face shields conform to the face, often featuring a one-way valve or filter in the center. The valve helps protect the rescuer from inhaling potentially harmful particles or fluids while providing rescue breaths. Flat plastic barriers are compact and portable, often available as keychain attachments, which makes them particularly convenient.
- Mask-Shaped CPR Devices: Unlike the flat plastic barriers, mask-shaped CPR devices are designed to fit snuggly only over the patient’s mouth and nose. They also feature a one-way valve at the top, increasing the efficiency of rescue breaths. While mask-shaped devices provide a much more secure seal than flat barriers, they require proper technique and practice to ensure effective use as they are somewhat more complicated to use.
How to Use CPR Face Shields and Mouth Pieces
You must follow proper guidelines and techniques when using CPR face shields and mouth pieces. CPR Certification courses are invaluable in gaining theoretical and practical knowledge you can rely on in any emergency. Still, we can glance at the basics of performing CPR with the addition of face shields and mouth pieces here:
- Prepare the Gear: Ensure the CPR face shield or mouth piece is readily accessible and within reach.
- Position the Patient: Place the patient on a firm, flat surface and tilt their head backward to open the airway.
- Barrier Placement: If using a flat plastic barrier, carefully position it over the patient’s mouth and nose, ensuring a secure fit. If you use a mask, aim to align it over the patient’s mouth and nose, creating a snug seal.
- Provide Rescue Breaths: With the barrier/mask in place, provide rescue breaths by blowing through the one-way valve or filter. Follow the recommended CPR guidelines for the number and frequency of breaths.
- Monitor the Patient: Continuously monitor the patient’s response, looking for signs of life, and adjust the rescue efforts as necessary.
Benefits of Using CPR Face Shields and Mouth Pieces
Using CPR face shields and mouth pieces offers numerous benefits, making them invaluable tools for people who might find themselves in the role of a CPR provider:
- Protection: As covered so far, both face shields and mouth pieces physically prevent the transfer of bodily fluids between you and a victim you’re trying to help.
- Ease of Use: Both tools are easy to use, but flat plastic barriers are exceptionally user-friendly. They require minimal technique and can be quickly utilized in emergencies, even by untrained individuals.
- Portability: Most CPR face shields and mouth pieces are compact, making them easily portable and readily available when needed. They come in the form of keychain attachments, accessory backpack pouches, and the like.
How to Choose the Right CPR Face Shield and Mouth Piece
When picking out a CPR face shield or mouth piece, you should consider a few significant factors. First, the devices have to be made of high-quality materials that are both durable and safe to use. As with all medical equipment, looking for FDA-approved products that meet industry standards is the wisest approach.
It is also important to choose CPR face shields and mouth pieces that you can use easily and take everywhere. As straightforward as they are, look for products with clear instructions on using them.
If you have no training, you should stick with face shields, as they’re very user-friendly. While the proper fit is crucial to ensure the effectiveness of rescue breaths and minimize the risk of leakage or contamination, it is also important that you can handle the device with ease.
Lastly, consider the cost and accessibility of the CPR face shields and mouth pieces. They should be within your budget range and readily available for purchase both online and in local stores.
Training and Certification for CPR Face Shields and Mouth Pieces
Anyone in an emergency can use CPR face shields and mouth pieces, but it is highly recommended to have proper training and certification before using them. CPR training courses provide you with the knowledge and skills to perform CPR effectively, including how to correctly use protective equipment.
During a CPR training course, you learn how to use CPR face shields and mouth pieces and gain a thorough understanding of the first aid techniques and procedures. You also learn how to assess a patient’s condition, recognize signs of cardiac arrest or respiratory failure, and recognize the all-important signs of life.
By obtaining certification in CPR, you demonstrate competence and readiness to respond in emergencies. Moreover, certification is often required for certain professions, such as healthcare providers or lifeguards. Even if you do not have a job requiring this training, getting certified benefits anyone who wants to be prepared to save a life.
Concluding Thoughts on CPR Face Shields and Mouth Pieces
CPR face shields and mouth pieces are essential tools that provide a protective barrier during mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. Their primary role is to minimize the risk of disease transmission and enhance the efficiency of the rescue breaths. By including these tools in your first aid kit, you can be better prepared to perform CPR at a higher level during emergencies.
However, understanding what is a CPR face shield and mouth piece and how they work is only the first step. Next, you’re faced with choosing the right CPR face shields and mouth pieces, which means you also need the proper training and certification to use them. That is where we come in, providing CPR Certification for individuals and companies. All it takes is to contact us today and sign up for one of our courses!