As a 30 year veteran emergency care provider and educator, I tend to be somewhat skeptical of new emergency care products. I like to see the clinical data on use and effectiveness and when possible use it myself, before introducing or recommending products to my clients or students.
Never the less, when I first saw the Life Mask® Face Shield two years ago, I was impressed with its design and utility. Although I didn’t have much data, I liked it and adopted it for our Emergency First Care programs. In fact, I began to carry one in my own wallet.
I’m happy to report to you that I now have the most exciting “data” I could have gathered: a personal and successful use of the Life Mask® Face Shield in an actual cardiac arrest event.
Recently while traveling to Phoenix (ironically to teach first aid and CPR) I encountered a 50 year old woman in cardiac arrest at the Philadelphia International Airport. Someone had just began CPR and, after verifying the patient’s pulselessness/non-breathing status, I provided ventilations using a Life Mask® Face Shield. When the paramedics arrived, I continued to assist as they defibrillated her and performed other ALS procedures. When I departed the scene the woman was in a normal sinus rhythm but unconscious and not breathing on her own.
I learned a week later that she was still alive in a Philadelphia hospital and in critical condition. Personally I didn’t hold out much hope but I was thankful that I had the opportunity to do what I did. Imagine my joy and excitement, however, when right before Christmas I received a beautiful letter (and photograph) from this woman who has made a complete recovery.
Had I not had a protective device available I don’t know if I would have even attempted to help. However, I did have a Life Mask® Face Shield. I found it to be extremely easy and natural to use and I was certainly able to adequately ventilate the patient. Most of all the outcome was every would-be-rescuer’s dream- a live, happy and grateful patient.
Thank you for providing such a simple but great product.
Frank J. Poliafico, RN