Jordan Benjamin, Snakebite Medicine Specialist and Herpetology

Jordan Benjamin

Jun 19, 2014

I am a herpetologist and wilderness medicine specialist. I have used this BVM in my field bag for wilderness/remote medicine applications for several years now.

Snakebite Medicine Specialist and Herpetology based in San Francisco, CA; periodically adventuring in West & East Africa
I am a herpetologist and wilderness medicine specialist.I have used this BVM in my field bag for wilderness/remote medicine applications for several years now.
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For the innovative design alone I would give this product 5 stars for use in adult patients and those who meet or exceed the manufacturer’s 88 lb minimum recommended body mass. This product solves the quandary of how to pack a BVM in a wilderness medical kit for extended duty in remote conditions, as traditional BVM’s would take up at least 4-6x the space of this device in its compact storage case. I carried this device in my pack for almost a year while working in West and East Africa, and had the unfortunate opportunity to use it on a number of occasions. If there is a chance that you will be using this device on infants or small pediatric patients, do not expect to achieve an effective seal by inversion of the mask to fit smaller faces. In my experience, it is simply not possible. Do yourself and your patients a favor, invest in a mask for infants and one for small children and ensure that they fit your BVM ahead of time – a number of pediatric masks in west African hospitals were incompatible with this BVM and couldn’t be attached. Note that in much of Africa, the concept of a one-time use BVM is completely ludicrous and I carried the same device for the entire trip. It was sterilized after each use just like everything else used there, and held up flawlessly under challenging conditions with no significant wear and tear evident. When used for appropriately sized patients, this device is truly a lifesaver and one I will not go without for remote medical assignments. I highly recommend it for such uses. Also, the anesthesiologist’s advice about the importance of adequate training and hands on experience for effective use of these devices is spot on. Do not mash the mask onto your patient’s face, lift the face into the mask, check your seal, and don’t forget to reassess. The air-filled cuff on traditional masks is replaced by a different design in this product to enable it to collapse and fit into such a small case; it is slightly more finicky to successfully seal than a standard air-cushioned mask so take the time to familiarize yourself with it before use and if you are resuscitating with a second rescuer special attention needs to be taken to ensure that this fact is not missed at the expense of the patient.