Breathing Bag (Manual Resuscitator)

What is a breathing bag (manual resuscitator)?

A breathing bag is a device used to temporarily help a patient breathe. When a patient needs help breathing, a respiratory therapist, doctor or nurse places the breathing bag face mask over the patient's mouth and nose. The breathing bag is connected to an oxygen source. The bag is then squeezed and oxygen is pushed into the patient's lungs. If the patient has a breathing tube in place, the breathing bag may be directly connected to the breathing tube.

Does use of breathing bag hurt?

If awake, the patient may sense the oxygen flowing into their lungs. The breathing bag face mask makes some patients feel uncomfortable.

How long is a breathing bag used?

A breathing bag is used for a short period of time. If the patient requires help breathing for more than a short period of time, a breathing machine may be used.

Are there any potential complications associated with use of a breathing bag?

Patients without a breathing tube (endotracheal tube) may experience bloating after needing the breathing bag. This occurs because some of the oxygen intended to go into the lungs goes into the stomach. This problem is temporary.

Breathing bag (manual resuscitator)