There are several different types of masks available. Full face masks are most commonly used to cover the nose and mouth if the patient tends to breathe through the mouth. Full face masks also ensure the patient gets full benefit from the ventilation therapy almost immediately. Other patients prefer a nasal mask option that just covers the nose.
Masks are made of a soft, flexible cushioned material mounted on a frame with straps that go round the head (head gear). Masks are designed to fit snugly on the face. A good seal and a comfortable fit are essential to prevent leaks. However, a small leak, as long as it is not blowing into the patient’s eyes, is acceptable.
Baywater Healthcare can supply an extensive range of masks from leading manufacturers to meet the clinical requirements of ventilator patients – ensuring comfort, safety and enhanced levels of patient usage.
All masks have an exhalation port (usually small holes or a vent) to allow carbon dioxide to escape to avoid carbon dioxide retention. It is essential that the patient does not cover or block these mask holes at any point.
To ensure optimum comfort and suitability, the patient’s mask should be selected from an extensive mask range. Patients should be shown how to put on and take off the mask correctly to ensure an ongoing good fit. Some masks have quick release clips to make this process easier. Masks can sometimes feel a little uncomfortable and claustrophobic at first, so it’s important for the patient to persevere. The most important thing is that the NIV mask is worn properly and the patient coordinates their breathing with the air pressure of the ventilator machine.