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Barrier Devices

CPR Barrier Devices and Supplies

CPR Class Includes a Focus on the 3 Types of Barrier Devices and How to Use Them

A CPR class, packed with critical information, prepares you to save lives. Thanks to barrier devices, one life you protect is your own. CPR barrier devices are a type of personal protective equipment to prevent rescuers' exposure to infection when in close contact with victims. Today the AHA recommends a modified form of CPR to simplify the process for adult victims only. 

Dubbed as hands-only CPR, the revised practice is designed to give greater confidence to persons who need to perform life-saving efforts in persons with cardiac arrest. It is important to note that the AHA still recommends traditional CPR for infants and children as well as victims of drowning, drug overdose, or people who have collapsed due to breathing problems. 

Three Primary Types of Barrier Devices Discussed in CPR Class

In an emergency situation, there is often no way to confirm whether the cardiac arrest victim has an infectious disease. Therefore, CPR class instructors recommend using CPR barrier devices. This practice keeps the victim’s fluids out of the rescuer’s mouth when giving rescue breaths. WorldPoint carries an array of barrier devices in three primary classes -- face shields, valves, and pocket masks.

  • Face Shields: Face shields can vary but commonly it is a flat plastic barrier laid across the victim’s mouth and nose. The permeable barrier in the center of the mask allows air to go through. However, the permeable center doesn’t allow fluids to come back out. This shield is one-size-fits-all including infants, children, and adults. Off-duty healthcare and public safety professionals are known to carry a flat plastic barrier that can be folded to fit in a keychain pouch along with gloves and alcohol wipes.
  • Valves: A more sophisticated face mask has a one-way CPR valve to allow air to go through one side, but no air or fluid can come back through to the rescuer. These masks will have a plastic piece on the back side of the CPR face shield that fits between the teeth to keep the face shield in place. It also helps keep the mouth slightly open while giving breaths.
  • Pocket Masks: Pocket masks are a type of CPR barrier device that are usually donut or pear-shaped. The mask fits over the mouth and nose, preventing rescuers from having to pinch the nose when performing CPR. All CPR pocket masks feature a one-way valve to ensure the best protection from communicable diseases. The one-way valves are disposable and not intended for reuse.