A novel Ergonomic Face Mask for Manual Ventilation


Technology: Surgeons and researchers at MUSC have created a new design for a ventilation mask (Figure 1) that features a more ergonomic, less visually obstructive grip. The neck of the ventilation mask is located closer to the top of the patient’s head, the anterior surface is concave, and there is a grooved pad on the mask. This trio of features enables a comfortable grip to be found easily and naturally. With the hand not having to maneuver around the mask’s neck, it is easier to apply necessary pressure and see the patient’s face. In a safety and efficacy study, it was shown that this mask performed similarly to standard ventilation masks on the Hans scale demonstrating safety and had statistically significantly lower scores on the Warters scale showing its superior efficacy (Table 1). In this study, certified nurse anesthetists applied this novel mask and a standard mask after receiving verbal instructions; half of the nurses applied the standard mask while the patient was awake and the novel mask while the patient was anesthetized, the other half applied the masks in reverse order.

Figure 1. Novel mask showing concave anterior surface, grooved pad, and ergonomic neck location


Table 1. Raw ventilation scores and score differences by mask type before and after NMB. Differences are calculated by taking the ventilation score using the standard mask and subtracting the score using the Tao mask. Data are presented as mean (SD) and as median (25th, 75th percentile).Abbreviations: NMB, neuromuscular blockade; SD, standard deviation. *P < 0.001

Overview: Manual positive pressure ventilation via facemask is a common treatment that can be found in numerous clinical settings ranging from the hospital to ambulances. However, studies have shown that not all patients receive appropriate ventilation. When tested, experienced anesthesiologists failed about 5% of the time, emergency medical technicians failed >50% of the time, and emergency room nurses failed about 84% of the time. These medical professionals utilized a standard facemask with a traditional C&E mask grip. The statistics, however, indicate that a new approach is necessary to improve ventilation. As such, use of a novel mask design and a new mask grip to improve oxygenation is a logical alternative. The mask designed by MUSC has potential to work for patients undergoing oxygenation whether they are in an ambulance or in the hospital, just like standard ventilation masks, but the MUSC mask is easier and more comfortable to use which leads to improved patient outcomes.

Published Manuscripts:

Brown TA, Szabo TA, Bridges KH, et al. Safety and Effectiveness of a Novel Facemask for Positive Pressure Ventilation. Anesth Analg 2018 July; 1(127): 151-156. doi: 10.1213/ANE0000000000002621.

Applications: Emergency medicine, anesthesia, airway management


Ergonomic: Concave, gripped surface with a superiorly located neck creates an intuitive, comfortable hand grip.

Non-obstructive: Caregiver has clear view of patient’s face because of the superiorly located neck and grip.

Key Words: ventilation mask, ergonomic, oxygen mask, emergency, face mask, respirator, anesthesia, airway management


Inventors: Robert D. Warters, Robert G. Dickie

Patent Status:        Issued US10463824B2 (2019-11-05)

MUSC-FRD Technology ID: P1111


Patent Information:
For Information, Contact:
ZI Admin/Archive
Zucker Institute of Innovation Commercialization powered by MUSC
R. David Warters
Robert Dickie
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