What Is a CPR Face Shield and Mouth Piece?

In the United States, 350,000 people a year suffer an out-of-hospital sudden cardiac arrest. This is a significant number, and chances are you might be witness to such an event. If you’re faced with a situation where someone’s life hangs in the balance, stepping in to give CPR can greatly improve their chances of survival.

According to the American Heart Association (AHA), while focusing only on chest compressions is strongly recommended, there are times when giving rescue breaths becomes a vital part of the process. However, the idea of mouth-to-mouth can make some folks think twice due to health and safety concerns.

That is where personal protective equipment like face shields and mouthpieces can make a difference. These simple yet effective tools make the process safer, reducing hesitation around performing mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.

By creating a barrier between you and the patient, they minimize the risk of transmitting infections, making the lifesaving act of CPR a bit less daunting for the rescuer. So, what is a CPR face shield and mouth piece, and how does each work? Let’s dive in and find out!

What Are CPR Face Shields?

CPR face shields make the lifesaving process of CPR safer for both the rescuer and the victim. A CPR face shield is a barrier between the rescuer and the victim during mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, aiming to prevent the transmission of bodily fluids and airborne pathogens.

This was especially important during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic when Baltimore ranked 12th as the city with the most cases of infection in the U.S.

They significantly reduce the risk of transmitting infections, ensuring that the act of saving a life doesn’t compromise the health of the rescuer. How do these shields work? Well, they’re ingeniously simple yet effective. Most CPR face shields are equipped with a one-way valve that allows the rescuer to breathe air or oxygen into the victim without the risk of receiving anything back from the victim’s mouth. This valve acts as a critical barrier, ensuring that only clean air is passed, making the process as sanitary as possible.

There are primarily two types of CPR face shields you’ll come across – disposable and reusable.

    • Disposable Face Shields. Devices meant for single use, ideal in situations where there’s a high turnover or limited time for cleanup. You can often find these in first aid kits, as they’re favored for their convenience.

    • Reusable Face Shields. These devices are made with durability in mind, crafted from sturdier materials that can withstand multiple uses. They require thorough sanitization after each use but are considered more eco-friendly and cost-effective in the long run.

The choice between disposable and reusable often boils down to the specific situation and personal preference. For example, in a hospital setting where infection control is paramount, disposable shields might be the go-to. Meanwhile, a reusable shield might be the better option in training environments or situations where there’s time to clean the equipment properly.

Key Features of Quality CPR Face Shields

PPE exists to protect you and the victim from possible cross-contamination, so it must be of high quality. When selecting a quality CPR face shield, this is what you should look out for:

    • Material and Durability. Look for shields made from robust, easy-to-clean materials that will last longer.

    • Size and Portability. If you need to carry the shield in a first aid kit or personal bag, it’s best if it’s small and portable. A compact, lightweight design ensures that the shield can be at hand whenever it’s needed without being a burden.

    • Effectiveness of the Barrier. The shield should provide a secure, tight seal around the mouth area, and the valve must function flawlessly to prevent any backflow of air or fluids.

What Are CPR Mouth Pieces?

CPR mouthpieces are designed to make mouth-to-mouth resuscitation between the rescuer and the victim easier. They ensure that the process is as efficient and safe as possible. The main purpose of a CPR mouthpiece is to create a barrier between the rescuer and the victim, reducing the risk of transmitting infectious diseases.

This safety feature is particularly significant in our current health-conscious society, where concerns about air-borne diseases have highlighted the importance of minimizing direct contact during medical procedures. The use of CPR mouthpieces can soothe these concerns, making bystanders more willing to perform CPR in emergencies.

CPR mouthpieces are engineered to ensure that the air blown into the victim’s lungs is directed efficiently. Unlike traditional mouth-to-mouth, using a CPR mouthpiece maximizes the chances of resuscitation by ensuring that the air reaches the lungs rather than escaping elsewhere.

Types of CPR Mouth Pieces and How to Use Them

There are various designs of CPR mouthpieces available in the market, catering to the diverse needs and preferences of first responders. Some are simplistic, designed for one-time use, and very easy to use, even for individuals with minimal training in CPR.

Others are more sophisticated, incorporating one-way valves to prevent the victim’s breath or bodily fluids from coming into contact with the rescuer. Learning to use these mouthpieces correctly is crucial, as improper use can compromise the effectiveness of CPR.

Typically, the process involves:

    • Placing the mouthpiece over the victim’s mouth

    • Sealing it properly to prevent air leakage

    • Blowing into the device to provide the necessary ventilation

You have to ensure that the chest rises with each breath because that’s proof air is entering the lungs as it should.

Combining CPR Mouth Pieces with Face Shields

There are many benefits of using these devices together while performing CPR. This combination practically eliminates the risk of disease transmission and allows for better visualization of the victim’s facial expressions and coloration.

When using both, first position the face shield correctly over the victim’s face, ensuring that there’s a tight seal around the mouth area. The CPR mouthpiece is then placed on top of the face shield, directly over the victim’s mouth. This setup might require some practice to master, as it involves coordinating the placement of two separate devices, but the payoff in terms of safety and efficacy is worth the effort.

Other PPE Equipment

When you’re getting ready to perform CPR, your mind is racing to remember all the steps and ensure you’re doing everything correctly to help save a life. But there’s another layer of preparation that’s just as important – personal protective equipment (PPE).

You’ve got your CPR face shields and mouthpieces, which are essential for creating a barrier between you and the person you’re helping, but there are more PPE items you can combine:

    • Gloves. They protect your hands from bodily fluids and potential contaminants.

    • Eye protection. Shield your eyes against splashes that could carry infectious agents.

    • Paper Gown or Apron. They protect your clothing and skin against direct contact and splashes.

    • Hand Sanitizer or 75% Isopropyl Alcohol. To sanitize your hands after you’re done administering CPR.

Face Shields and Mouth Pieces: Final Thoughts

So, what is a CPR face shield and mouth piece? These tools make performing CPR on strangers in medical need safer by creating a barrier between the rescuer and the victim. This reduces the risk of transmitting bodily fluids and possible infections.

However, it’s important to remember that while knowing how to use these devices is beneficial, they’re not a substitute for comprehensive CPR training. If you’re serious about being prepared to save lives, getting CPR certified in Baltimore should be your next step.

CPR training gives you the knowledge and confidence to act effectively in critical moments. Your role in emergency preparedness can make a significant difference, so staying informed and ready can contribute to a safer environment for everyone. Don’t hesitate to get CPR training in Baltimore and become a pivotal part of lifesaving efforts!