Background and aims: Manual bag mask ventilation is a life saving skill. An investigation was made to compare two different facemasks used in bag mask ventilation, the standard and the novel Tao face mask, and evaluate the ability of novices to achieve adequate tidal volume.
Methods: The study design was a crossover trial, which randomized forty medical students with no previous airway experience to learn bag mask ventilation with the standard mask and the Tao face mask. Primary outcome measures were mean and median tidal volume per mask, and secondary measures were hand area, age, gender, and order of mask usage.
Results: Medical students who used the Tao mask first achieved significantly more tidal volume than those who used the standard mask first (p = 0.002). However, when comparing face masks that were used second, the tidal volume did not differ significantly between the two masks (p = 1.000). Greater tidal volume was achieved on the second attempt relative to the first attempt with each mask. There was significantly more tidal volume achieved with greater hand size with the standard mask, whether it was used first or second (p < 0.001 and p = 0.012 respectively). Greater hand size was associated with greater tidal volume in the Tao mask also, but only when used first (p < 0.001). When first attempting bag mask ventilation, inexperienced students achieved greater tidal volume with the Tao Mask. The results also suggest that hand size matters less when using the Tao Mask.
Conclusion: When first attempting bag mask ventilation inexperienced students achieved greater tidal volume with the Tao Mask. The results also suggest that hand size matters less when using the Tao mask.
Keywords: airway assessment: co-existing disease; failed intubation: treatment; upper airway anatomy.