Know your Oxygen delivery masks 3

By Patty Seery
Bag Valve Masks

Bag valve mask
Bag valve masks (BVMs), which are used only on divers who are unable to breathe adequately on their own, are single-use, disposable devices that enable rescuers to provide ventilations — with or without supplemental oxygen. Using a BVM is less fatiguing for rescuers than delivering rescue breaths through oronasal masks. These masks come with flexible tubing that connects to continuous-flow outlets of oxygen units. They also have reservoir bags that collect oxygen and are capable of providing high concentrations to injured divers.

Oxygen delivery using a BVM requires two rescuers: One rescuer maintains the mask seal and the injured diver's open airway, while the other squeezes the bulb to deliver ventilations. The other primary disadvantage of BVMs is that, like nonrebreather masks, they deplete oxygen supplies relatively quickly.

Regardless of the mask used, a rescuer's technique affects the concentration of oxygen delivered to the injured diver. To optimize oxygen delivery, be sure to seal the mask to avoid leaks, and continually monitor both the seal and the injured diver. Do not depend on the injured diver to keep the mask secure; their comfort, changes in their level of consciousness and fatigue can compromise mask seal.

Part of being a responsible diver is familiarizing yourself with the options available in your emergency oxygen unit and inspecting it before every outing to ensure all equipment and supplies are there and in good condition. To enhance your understanding of this critical element of dive accident management, participate in a DAN® Emergency Oxygen for Scuba Diving Injuries course. Visit DAN.org/training/directory/default.aspx to find an instructor near you.

Find the full article here: http://www.alertdiver.com/Oxygen-Delivery_Masks

© Alert Diver — Q1 Winter 2018

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