Knowing your PPE: What Is A CPR Face Shield And Mouth Piece?

What is a CPR face shield and mouth piece?

When someone’s heart has stopped working, it’s critical to start administering cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) as soon as possible. However, CPR involves very close contact with the victim, so prioritizing your safety when administering it is just as important as helping the victim in need. You can easily enhance your safety during CPR by using personal protective equipment (PPE) such as CPR face shields and mouth pieces.

These two items are the most essential pieces of PPE and are often available in very compact and portable forms. While using them should be fairly straightforward for everyone, we will cover exactly what is a CPR face shield and mouth piece, why they matter, how to use them, and where you can find the type that fits your needs the best.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) in CPR

CPR involves direct contact with the person in need of resuscitation, which includes exposure to bodily fluids and airborne particles. Since the point of CPR is to provide life-saving aid to people outside of hospital settings, the scenario is never going to be ideal. However, access to PPE introduces a safety element to the citation, making your role as a rescuer more comfortable and, in some cases, more effective.

Personal protective equipment is a physical barrier between you and the victim, protecting you from biological contamination. Using CPR face shields and mouth pieces allows you to minimize the risk of infection transmission and ensure a better resuscitation process.

What Is A CPR Face Shield And Mouth Piece?

The use of PPE when administering CPR is essential. The two pieces of equipment you should always have in such situations are the following:

    • CPR Face Shields: A CPR face shield is a plastic or silicone barrier that protects you from splatters of blood, mucous, and other bodily fluids. The shield typically covers the face from the top to under the chin, fastening behind the head for security.

    • Mouth pieces: Mouth pieces are much smaller than face shields and work differently but with the same goal – to prevent the transmission of bodily fluids or airborne particles. You need to put in a bit more effort with a mouth piece, as you have to insert it into the victim’s mouth before using it. Once in, it acts as a one-way system featuring a filter that ensures proper ventilation and maximal protection.

Now that you know what is a CPR face shield and mouth piece, we can talk about them in greater detail. Namely, the goal of the PPE is to prevent biological cross-contamination. So, the equipment is made from materials best suited for the role. To that extent, transparent materials, such as plastic or silicone, are the industry standard, allowing you to monitor the victim’s airway while performing CPR.

Both pieces of PPE are different, mostly in size. A face shield covers the victim’s nose and mouth completely, while the mouth piece goes inside the victim’s mouth to create an airtight seal. This allows you to simultaneously use these two crucial pieces of CPR gear to guarantee maximal protection.

Choosing the Right CPR Face Shield or Mouth Piece

In an emergency, any type of mouth piece or face shield will help, even improvised ones if push comes to shove. However, there are different options out there, and you should think about the following factors when selecting essential PPE components:

    • Presence of Valves: Look for face shields with two valves instead of those with a single valve or gauze filter, as they provide enhanced protection. The presence of additional valves reduces the risk of exposure to infectious materials.

    • User Handles: A mouth piece with handles is easier to insert into the patient’s mouth. This feature is particularly helpful if your hands are bloody or dirty, preventing contamination of the functional parts of the mouth piece.

    • Short Valve Chamber: A shorter valve chamber in a mouth piece serves as a bite block, keeping the patient’s teeth apart and helping keep the airway open for rescue breaths. It prevents the tongue from obstructing the airway and is particularly useful when administering CPR to children.

    • Size and Material: Choose a CPR face shield with a pliable and durable barrier material. The face shield should be able to withstand a wide range of temperatures and remain functional. Size also matters, as a face shield should cover as much of the victim’s face as possible without obstructing your vision.

Additional Useful PPE for CPR

Apart from CPR face shields and mouth pieces, there are other PPE items that you should have access to but are not as essential. Everything that enhances personal safety and contributes to effective CPR administration is welcome during emergencies:

    • Gloves: If you can, always try to wear medical-grade gloves during CPR. They act as an additional barrier against bodily fluids. While usually made of latex, latex-free gloves are also available for those with latex allergies.

    • Antibacterial Hand Sanitizer: Hand sanitizers are essential for maintaining hand hygiene during CPR. Opt for ones containing at least 60% alcohol to make sure you can perform a quick and effective disinfection of your hands before CPR.

    • Paper Towels: Paper towels can absorb hazardous materials and maintain a clean environment. They are also beneficial in stopping profuse bleeding and provide an additional barrier wherever you need one.

Proper Usage, Removal, and Maintenance of PPE

Using PPE equipment is easy, but getting formal education via CPR courses and classes is necessary. Removing PPE components for CRP is just as important as using them, as is the post-event maintenance:

    1. Usage: When administering CPR, carefully position the CPR face shield or mouth piece in place. You must secure the mouth piece snuggly and maintain a seal while delivering rescue breaths. Following the product’s directions is paramount for using them successfully.

    1. Removal: Begin by removing your (if using them) and dispose of them properly. Then, remove the CPR face shield and mouth piece, still focusing on preventing contamination during removal. You can use reusable face shields as long as you clean and store them appropriately. One-way valves and any other single-use components should go straight to the trash.

    1. Maintenance: To ensure the optimal functionality of CPR face shields and mouth pieces, you must follow the manufacturer’s usage and maintenance guidelines. Before using the gear, inspect it for any signs of damage or wear. You should discard any damaged or expired pieces of equipment. After each use, thoroughly clean and disinfect the CPR face shield according to the manufacturer’s instructions, using the appropriate disinfectant solution or wipe. Do the same to the mouth piece if it is reusable, which is rare in practice.


So, what is a CPR face shield and mouth piece? These are essential components of personal protective equipment that you must have when administering CPR. They provide a crucial barrier between you and the victim, significantly reducing the risk of potential biological contamination or infection transmission during resuscitation efforts.

By prioritizing personal safety and using appropriate PPE, you can perform CPR more confidently and effectively. Remember to include additional PPE components in your first-aid kit, such as gloves, hand sanitizers, and paper towels.

If you want to learn more about the use of CPR face shields and mouth pieces, contact us now and select a CPR Certification course that fits your schedule best! Stay safe, be prepared, and make a difference with CPR!