Navigation data
Part of NREMT Skillset
Medical skill data
Subskill of Airway Management
Acting roles EMT, emergency medical technician, paramedic
Pathologies congenital, hypoxia
Body systems respiratory system
Page data
Type Medical skill
Keywords medical, trauma
SDGs Sustainable Development Goals SDG03 Good health and well-being
Aliases ABC's
Published by GSTC
Published 2020
License CC BY-SA 4.0

A pocket mask, or pocket face mask or CPR mask, is a small valved mask that can be carried on one's person and used to safely deliver rescue breathing during CPR or respiratory arrest. It is not to be confused with a BVM.

A pocket mask kit consists of:

  • 2-3 sizes of conforming face mask to fit pediatric and adult patients
  • A one-way filter valve through which the responder blows to prevent cross contamination of potentially infectious bodily substances.
  • Optional oxygen port. Exhaled air from the rescuer is up to 16% oxygen compared with 21% concentration of room air. Some pocket masks may have a built-in oxygen intake tube, allowing the responder to deliver up to oxygen 50-60% oxygen.

Procedure[edit | edit source]

  1. Choose the proper mask. The mask should fit over the bridge of the nose with the base of the mask resting between the lower lip and the chin.
  2. Position Properly. The rescuer should be positioned at/above the patient's head.
  3. Open the Airway. Start in the sniffing position, with the ear to sternal notch aligned in the same plane as this often provides for easier ventilation. If this does not work, try tilting the head backward in a "head-tilt chin lift" maneuver or if a spinal injury is suspected, displace the jaw forward with a "jaw-thurst" to open the airway.
  4. Provide an adequate seal. The mask should create a tight seal. You should not hear air leaking around edge of the mask while you ventilate the patient. The mask should not be pushed down onto the face, but rather, the patients face should be pulled into the mask without closing off the mouth in a two handed grip.
  5. Ventilate smoothly. At a rate of 1 breath every 5 to 6 seconds, administer air to the patient by exhaling through the valve and observing the patient's chest rise. The tidal volume delivered is limited by the lung capacity of the rescuer.

While a pocket mask is not as efficient as a bag valve mask, it does have its advantages when only one rescuer is available:

  • The pocket mask it easy to carry.
  • The mask allows the solo rescuer to use two hands to create a seal which provides a superior seal on the patient's face, and allows the responder to perform a jaw thrust a on patients who may have a spinal injury.