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What Is a Pocket Mask?

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  • Written By: Misty Amber Brighton
  • Edited By: Allegra J. Lingo
  • Last Modified Date: 01 December 2016
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A pocket mask is a device used in performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). Other names for this equipment include CPR mask and pocket face mask. It is typically made of vinyl and has a plastic intake valve in the center of it. The mask is designed to be used as a face shield to protect the responder from disease while administering rescue breaths. This emergency medical equipment is easy to carry, and some models have hooks that can be attached to a belt loop or keychain.

The shape of this device is much like that of a face shield. It is somewhat wider at the top and rounded or curved along the sides. The sides taper into a slightly rounded point at the chin area. There is usually a strap on the back of the mask itself.

In the center of the pocket mask is the valve mechanism. This section is designed to be placed over an individual's mouth and nose. A long tube extends from this area, allowing the rescue worker to breathe into it and deliver oxygen to the patient.

Some models have a filter in addition to the intake valve. Both of these items are typically disposable. After the pocket face mask has been used, these units can be replaced. This means the CPR mask can be disinfected and used again, which can save money over purchasing new masks.

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The intent of a pocket mask is to protect both patients and emergency rescue workers from diseases. They are especially important whenever bodily fluids, such as blood, are present. Pocket masks also prevent the exchange of saliva when a responder is administering rescue breaths.

A pocket mask sometimes has a carrying case. It is often yellow and contains instructions for using this piece of emergency medical equipment. The case might be a hard-shell carrier or a canvas case with a zipper. Soft cases often have a loop on the back so they can be attached to a belt for easy access.

Rescue workers typically use only one size pocket mask. This is because this emergency medical equipment is suitable for use on both adults and children. Most models are also latex free, so they are safe to use on patients with an allergy to this material. Having one of these devices available can help emergency responders ensure they are prepared to administer rescue breaths quickly and safely.

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