on January 26, 2013
My former employer (hospital) gave these out to their employees. It is quite small and remained on my keychain for years until I encountered a traveler in cardiac arrest in an airport. I was really glad that I had it. There are too many issues out there to really want to do mouth-to-mouth. This keychain barrier is small, bears up well when being carried around with keys for years and sure comes in handy when you need it.
The most current BLS classes teach that you should not do mouth-to-mouth without a barrier. This tiny little item provides an effective barrier to safeguard your health while helping someone.
Yes, you get five of these. I chose the masks with the blue pouch because it was the cheapest, but the masks themselves are the same no matter what color pouch you choose. In the review I describe one mask, but all five are exactly the same.
Each mask comes in a nylon pouch, which comes in a 3" by 4-1/2" zipper-close bag, which also contains basic instructions on a bi-fold sheet of paper. The first side tells how to put the CPR mask on the patient, while the second side gives basic CPR instructions (chest compressions and ventilations). These are in English. The third and fourth sections are the same thing, but in Spanish.
The pouch itself is nylon, blue in my case. It has a slightly looser weave than a military-issue pistol belt. On the front is a sewn-on Ambu logo, which can be easily removed if you wish. The pouch measures 2" wide by 1-7/8" tall and 5/8" thick with the mask inserted and the flap closed. There is a small section of nylon on the left side, which has a standard 1" split ring attached. The flap closes with a Velcro rectangle. There's no attachment point for a belt or anything else, but the split ring should be sufficient enough to attach it to almost anything.
Inside the pouch is the mask itself. It's enclosed in a wax paper sleeve, which is there to protect the thin plastic from tears when not in use. I just snipped the taped edge off so the mask can be accessed easily in an emergency. The mask is folded to a size of 1" by 1", which is just larger than the size of a U.S. quarter. The mask is just under 1/2" thick when folded. Unfolded, it's 9-1/2" long with the ear loops unstretched. A one-way valve is located in the center, and it goes right over the patient's mouth. Since it only allows air in one way, it has to be put on one way. If you can read the Ambu logo, it's on the patient right. Also, there's a small drawing of a mouth over the valve; this is where your mouth goes when doing the ventilations. Elastic strings go around the patient's ears, and they stretch pretty far. If they don't fit, then just use the mask without the ear attachments.
In use, the mask is okay. It's designed for one use only, and clearly says so. The valve works fine. However, the plastic is too thin to be 100% trustworthy. When ventilations are being administered, it's common for the rescuer to grind their teeth a little, especially under stress. The patient will almost always bite when breathing is restored. Either one will tear the plastic, rendering the mask useless since you can now introduce bodily fluids through the mouth. If a patient bites a little harder, the valve can come off and fall down their throat, creating a new choking hazard. Yes, this has happened.
So, should you buy these? Absolutely. They are valuable, and they are pretty reliable. At $11 for five, they're cheap enough to include in any First Aid Kit or glovebox.
on December 25, 2013
I have not used these thing yet in a real situation and hopefully I will never have to but I did try this with a dummy. It is easy to use. I like that it's a keychain and that you can put it anywhere. I keep one in my room, my car and my lanyard. I gave the rest to my girlfriend who's a nursing student.The velcro of the pouch is easily removed when you need to use it. Once you open the pouch then you'll pull out the mask which is folded inside a tape. You then will unfold the mask and just follow the diagram on which is the patient's and rescuer's side. Remember to have good chest compressions when using this product!
on February 2, 2013
I have one on my personal key ring, and another on my lanyard with my keys at school. We already had a code blue this year so even though I hope to never need it, it's easy to stay prepared, and gives me peace of mind. It is sturdy, light, and small and flat enough to not be obnoxious to wear on a lanyard at school. A lot of other people's seem really bulky, which I wouldn't want to wear those on a lanyard. Also I looked at the actual mask and it's really easy to use, I'd say. I would absolutely buy this again if I ever need to.
on November 27, 2013
I opened up one of these mini CPR masks thinking that I got ripped off with these, BUT after opening it, I give them a full 5 stars as they work. They have a decent one-way valve in a face mask that is about the size of the mask we see in the movies when they do a scene in an operating room, so you have good coverage. And since they have a decent one-way valve, you are safe from contact when using it on a stranger with an unknown medical history. I now carry one on my key chain and have spread them around the house and car. I recommend that you buy these for an unforeseen emergency requiring you or someone in your group to administer CPR.