Pocket mask and valve
Laryngoscopes are rigid medical devices used to examine the vocal cords and glottis during tracheal intubation to provide a definite airway for the administration of general anaesthesia, whenever controlled ventilation is needed. They are also commonly used for visualisation during other procedures involving the larynx and upper tracheobronchial tree.
Oropharyngeal airways are commonly used by paramedics and first responders for short term airway management in unconscious patients when tracheal intubation is not available or contraindicated. When a patient is unconscious, the muscles in their jaw may relax and allow the tongue to cover the epiglottis, obstructing the airway. Using an oropharyngeal airway device is the quickest way to provide a patent airway. It can also facilitate suctioning, prevent a patient from biting his/her tongue, and aid in ventilation during CPR. The correct use of an oropharyngeal airway can be life-saving.
Commercially available oropharyngeal airways are generally made of hard plastic and come in various sizes. Reusable devices may come with a silicon rubber finish while disposable/single-use ones may be made of PVC plastic. The correct size is chosen by measuring from the angle of the jaw to the mouth of the patient. It is inserted upside down to avoid the patient’s teeth, and rotated 180 degrees over the tongue to allow air to pass through and around the device. The device extends from the lips to the pharynx of the patient.
Pocket mask and valve
The pocket mask is a convenient, reusable, small device that can be easily carried and used quickly by an emergency responder for mouth-to-mask resuscitation in between chest compressions. They are widely used to deliver rescue breaths to the patient’s lungs during cardiac or respiratory arrest by exhaling air through a one-way valve attached to the mask. This provides immediate respiratory support to the patient. The one-way valve acts an effective physical barrier between the patient and rescuer, which prevents the exhaled air of the patient being inhaled by the rescuer. Therefore, the mask and valve minimises the risk of any cross contamination of mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. Commercially available pocket masks can cost approximately $10-20 USD.