How to Use a Bag Valve Mask

Bag valve mask ventilation is an essential emergency skill.

This basic airway management technique allows for oxygenation and ventilation of patients until a more definitive airway can be established.

This guide requires two persons to properly use the bag valve mask.

You will need

  • Two rescuers
  • Bag-valve-mask


First rescuer

  1. Assemble the bag-valve-mask; attach the bag with a valve to the mask.
  2. Position the mask by placing the mask so that it covers the victim’s mouth and nose.
  3. Seal the mask and open the airway; place your thumbs on each side of the mask to hold it in place.
  4. Place fingers of both hands along the victim’s jawbone.
  5. Tilt the victim’s head back.
  6. Apply downward pressure with thumbs while lifting the jaw upwards with fingers.

Second rescuer

  1. Begin ventilation; squeeze the bag smoothly until the victim’s chest rises.
  2. Give 1 ventilation about every 5 seconds (once about every 3 seconds for a child or infant).
  3. Watch the chest to see that ventilation goes in.
  4. Recheck pulse and breathing every minute.


  1. Attach a one-way valve to the mask if necessary
  2. Position the mask so that there is a good seal.
  3. Kneel behind the patient’s or victim’s head.
  4. Place the rim of the mask between the lower lip and chin.
  5. Keep the victim’s mouth open.


  • Tilt head if head or neck injury is suspected.
  • Attempt to use a bag valve mask if you have no prior knowledge of CPR. You may hurt the person you are trying to resuscitate.