The BVM consists of a flexible air chamber, about the size of a rugby ball, attached to a face mask via a shutter valve. When the air chamber or “bag” is squeezed, the device forces air through into the patient’s lungs; when the bag is released, it self-inflates, drawing in ambient air or a low pressure oxygen flow supplied from a regulated cylinder, while the patient’s lungs deflate to the air through the one way valve. ( Kelowna First Aid )
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Bag and valve combinations can also be attached to an alternate airway adjunct, such as an endotracheal tube or larengeal mask airway. Often a small HME filter (Heat & Moisture exchanger, or humidifying / bacterial filter) is used. ( Kelowna First Aid )
A bag valve mask can be used without being attached to an oxygen tank to provide air to the patient, often called “room air” in the U.S. Supplemental oxygen increases the partial pressure of oxygen inhaled, helping to increase perfusion in the patient.
Most devices also have a reservoir which can fill with oxygen while the patient is exhaling (a process which happens passively), in order to increase the amount of oxygen that can be delivered to the patient to nearly 100%.
Bag valve masks come in different sizes to fit infants, children, and adults.
Most types of the device are disposable and therefore single use, while others are designed to be cleaned and reuse
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