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So we are now going have a look at the overview and the use of a non-rebreather mask, or quite often referred to in the trade as a trauma mask. These are used to give a patient a high volume of oxygen prior to using a bag and mask. When we get to the point of using a bag and mask, the patient is not breathing or is not breathing enough and we're having to add ventilation for them or actually take over their breathing completely. This is used prior to that happening to give them as much oxygen as possible to potentially stop them from deteriorating any further and requiring any further interventions.

So let's have a little bit of a look at the unit itself. First of all, is the pipe. The pipe is connected to the oxygen getting set on the vehicle, on the bottle in the bag or even on the hospital ward. The next thing is the actual bag underneath, which allows the oxygen coming in from the source into a bag underneath the patient, underneath the patient's face. So whenever they breathe, they only breathe pure oxygen from that bag. Nowhere else can oxygen get into them apart from via that bag.

The next thing we have is a little valve inside to allow that to happen. So the little green valve inside the mask itself. When we prep this before we put it onto a patient, most people will normally just put the finger over the valve just to allow the bag to fill a little bit prior to putting it onto the patient's face. You don't have to, but quite a lot of people do do that just to aid the filling of the bag.

The next thing is the actual nose piece, little aluminium clip that squeezes over the bridge of the nose gently, not too tight, but it just gives the mask that seal so there's no seepage and they're not drawing oxygen from anywhere else other than the bag itself. And finally, on it, there is the elastic strap that goes around the back of the head or clips to the collar at either side on a patient that's got a neck brace on, to allow the mask to pull nicely to the face. And it adjusts by pulling the side short straps to tighten or loosen. So what we should have when this is correctly fitted is a nice seal to the face that's not uncomfortable, that's closed over the nose and allowing the patient only to breathe pure oxygen.

There are two ways of also checking for a person's breathing rate. Now, this little mask has a clever little snorkel on it, and the little red ball inside the snorkel, every time the patient breathes, the snorkel lifts or lowers. So you can count every time the snorkel lifts and lowers and that will be the breathing rate of the patient. If you're using a mask that hasn't got this device on it, another clever trick to recognise and use is look at the mask. Every time the patient breathes out, the mask will steam up. And every time they breathe in, the mask will clear. So all you need to do, actually, is to watch the mask steam, clear, steam, clear and count and that will give you the breathing rate of the patient. Far easier than actually putting your hand on somebody's chest or actually trying to monitor it any other way, because as soon as you start to count somebody's breathing and they know what you're doing, they slow down and almost stop. It's a natural instinct. People hold their breath when you are trying to count the breathing rate. If you do it via the mask or via the snorkel, they don't know what you're doing and you will get an accurate breathing rate.

One final thing. Remember these are one use only. So once the patient has used this mask, it can be used with them in the hospital A and E department, so we transfer them and normally couple the oxygen cylinder to the hospital oxygen or vice versa if they are coming from a hospital environment to an ambulance, we keep them on the same mask. However, once that patient is finished using this mask, it is disposed of as clinical waste. It's one use only and disposed of correctly.

So now we are gonna actually show how we fit the mask itself. So the first thing we do is turn the oxygen on. Load the bag so it starts to fill. We then take the strap and tell the patient what we're gonna do, "I'm just gonna put you on a little bit of oxygen, nothing to worry about." The strap goes over the back of the head and the face mask goes on. We then squeeze the nose piece so we get a nice seal. We adjust the mask with the actual side straps until it's comfortable and nice and tight and we've got a decent seal. You will notice now that oxygen is entering the bag, the bag is filling up the face mask and the patient is breathing. And you'll notice that every time the patient breathes, the bubble will now bounce so we can count his breathing rate from the bubble. If we need to adjust, we can. We are also going to be monitoring the pulse oximetry at all times to make sure that oxygen saturations don't get too high or too low. But that's a separate video in itself.