The Latest Research on Bag-Mask Ventilation for ACLS Providers

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What is Bag-Mask Ventilation (BMV)?

Airway management during cardiac arrest usually begins with a basic strategy such as bag-mask ventilation (BMV). It’s done by placing a bag-mask device over the person’s face, then sealing the mask over the patient’s mouth and nose. The air from the bag then flows into the person’s mouth and/or nose by squeezing the bag, with the mask pressed firmly down over the mouth and nose to create an airtight seal.

BMV in some cases should be considered the first strategy to provide adequate ACLS ventilation, and has been shown to provide equal ventilation in comparison to advanced airway devices. However, BMV should be backed up with an advanced airway if the first-choice airway adjunct cannot be established.

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How Has Bag-Mask Ventilation Use for ACLS Providers Changed in 2020?

Prior to 2020, there were recommendations made by the American Heart Association regarding the efficacy of BMV for ACLS providers. These recommendations were made in response to cases of pulmonary aspiration and orogastric secretions occurring during CPR when BMV is used without an advanced airway in place.

The primary recommendation is that either BMV or an advanced airway strategy may be considered during CPR for adult cardiac arrest in any setting (IHCA or OHCA). However, BMV does require skill and proficiency, as does an advanced airway, therefore it is recommended that the provider decide which is best for both their level of skill as well as the needs of the patient.  The AHA recommends that ACLS providers train and retrain to become proficient in advanced airway placement. Regardless of choice, a clear plan must be established in the event that either initial airway fails.

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Where Can I Learn More About Updated ACLS Airway Management Technique?

Register today for the Medical ProCerts ACLS certification course and learn what you need to get current information about ACLS Airway Management. Download a FREE ACLS algorithms course pack from Medical ProCerts that includes algorithms and prep tests to help you study and become competent in ACLS. You can learn more about ACLS training by reading this article!

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