How to Use an Oxygen Resuscitator

May 10, 2022

How to Use an Oxygen Resuscitator

An oxygen resuscitator is a medical device that uses positive pressure to help both conscious and unconscious patients receive the oxygen they need.

While many emergency departments, intensive care units, and other areas use mechanical resuscitators for patients, these devices are not available all the time. In cases when a mechanical resuscitator is unavailable, and a patient requires critical care, a manual resuscitator is often a viable alternative. If you’re called upon to implement an oxygen resuscitator, it is imperative to understand how to use it correctly.

Wondering how to use a portable oxygen resuscitator? Learn more about the process below.

How it works: The different parts of an oxygen resuscitator

Oxygen resuscitators utilise a variety of components, including a non-rebreathing valve, self-inflating bag and reservoir bag. These components combine to create a single device that medical professionals can use for manual ventilation. They’re also known as bag valve masks or Ambu bags.
Oxygen resuscitators can be used with or without oxygen tanks. When using a resuscitator with an oxygen tank, the caregiver will have greater control over a patient’s oxygen saturation levels.

Some oxygen resuscitators come equipped with a demand valve. Demand valve resuscitators make it much easier to meet a patient’s oxygen requirements by simplifying the process and helping to prevent damage that might result from over pressurising the lungs.

How to use an oxygen resuscitator: A step by step guide

Before using an oxygen resuscitator, ensure that all of the components are correctly connected, that the oxygen tank is full and that the tank is turned on.

Step 1: Tilt the patient’s head back to help clear the airway and prevent the tongue from becoming an obstruction.
Step 2: Fit the mask to the patient’s face. The cushion should rest between the chin and lower lip. The top of the mask (the narrow end) should rest on the bridge of the patient’s nose.
Step 3: Using your fingers, gently but firmly hold the mask onto the patient’s face. Ensure that the head and chin are still tilted.
Step 4: Using your free hand, squeeze the bag to help the patient’s lungs inflate. The chest will rise.
Step 5: Release the bag and allow the patient to exhale.
Step 6: Continue squeezing and releasing the bag as required for the procedure or in accordance with CPR guidelines. Stop the process when the patient begins breathing naturally or when further attempts are officially discontinued.

When to use oxygen resuscitators

Oxygen resuscitators are primarily used for nonbreathing patients who need assistance to keep their oxygen levels within the acceptable range. However, resuscitators can also be used for breathing patients who may require supplemental oxygen. In these cases, oxygen resuscitators can easily provide up to 100% oxygen at the patient’s required breathing level.

Remember that both manual and mechanical resuscitators are intended for use by medical professionals. Using a portable resuscitator without the proper knowledge or training may result in patient injury.

What is the correct use of oxygen during resuscitation? Dos and Don’ts to be aware of

When learning how to use a portable oxygen resuscitator, understanding the dos and don’ts of resuscitator operation can help ensure the safety of you and your patient.

  • DO always keep your manual/portable resuscitation equipment fully assembled so that it can be used immediately in an emergency.
  • DO NOT use a single resuscitator for multiple patients. Resuscitators are designed for use by a single person.
  • DO discard a resuscitator once the patient no longer needs it or if it has become damaged or dirty.
  • DO use the appropriate resuscitator procedures for an intubated patient. For intubated patients, remove the resuscitator mask and attach it to the ET tube rather than fitting it over the face. Continue from step 4.
  • DO ensure that the oxygen flow rate is set to 15 l/min for adults.
  • DO NOT handle the oxygen cylinder (if using) in any way that may damage the cylinder.

Mega Medical: Sydney’s leading provider of medical gases, equipment and consumables

Whether you’re searching for an emergency resuscitation kit or need to replenish your facility’s medical gas supplies, the Mega Medical team is here to help. We’re proud to provide essential, life-saving medical equipment and consumables throughout Australia for both at-home and professional use.

Reach out to our team on 1300 881 824 to speak to a staff member about our products and services today.