Rescue Breathing Complications

Participants enrolled in CPR and AED training will learn to handle complications with rescue breathing. Rescue breathing refers to a number of different techniques that pass expired air directly from a rescuer to a victim that need artificial respiration. This page will not focus on rescue breathing techniques, however, it will focus on the complications associated with these techniques. There will be times when mouth-to-mouth breathing may not be possible because of injury or a previous condition to the victim. This page will outline these issues and post the methods of treating these patients. The material posted on this page is for information purposes only. Participants that want to learn to cope and handle rescue breathing complications should take a hands on CPR and AED course through a credible provider (link is to our training partners in Hamilton).

Inability to do mouth-to-mouth breathing:

Rescuers may encounter victims that have injuries to the mouth or to the jaw that make mouth-to-mouth resuscitation impossible. In these situations rescuers should to mouth-to-nose rescue breathing. The rescuer should attempt to seal the patients mouth as best as possible and apply ventilation’s to the victims nose.

Handkerchiefs and tissues:

CPR Pocket Mask
CPR Pocket Mask

Using a handkerchief or a tissue is not a effective barrier device and will not decrease the risk of cross-contamination from bodily fluids. This is a popular myth that rescuer should be aware of.

Patients with stoma’s:

Some people have had a part of their trachea removed and breathe through a hole called a stoma in the front of the neck. If a patient has a stoma, mouth-to-mouth resuscitation will be ineffective. Rescuers should perform resuscitation using the victims stoma. Rescuers should give two normal breaths and watch for the victim’s chest to rise to see that the air goes in.

Using a barrier device (e.g. pocket mask):

Many rescuers will learn to use barrier devices such as pocket masks, face masks, face shields or bag-valve masks for ventilation’s. These are effective barriers that offer protection against disease in rescue breathing especially in the moments where a victims vomits (see your CPR complications “vomiting” page for more information). Candidates will learn to use these barrier device in most basic first aid and / or CPR courses that are offered through credible providers.When attending a first aid and / or CPR course participants will learn a variety of different methods and techniques to deliver rescue breathing to victims that require assisted ventilation’s. Simple mouth-to-mouth ventilation is the easiest and simplest method of providing artificial respiration to a victim. Register for a first aid and / or CPR course today to learn to save a life.

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