Mouth to mouth

Artificial ventilation is a critical method of first aid and medical care to deliver air or oxygen (O2) to the lungs when a person's breathing is ineffective or has stopped completely. It is particularly important in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).

Although mouth-to-mouth ventilation is a common method of providing artificial ventilation, some CPR or first aid training for the general public may not include this technique, preferring simplified training that emphasizes chest compressions alone.

Artificial ventilation can be performed in a variety of ways, including mouth-to-mouth ventilation, where the rescuer blows into the victim's airway, or by using a ventilatory device. These devices may include a face mask, endotracheal tube or nasopharyngeal cannula, for example. The choice of method will depend on the situation, the skill level of the rescuer and the equipment available.

Artificial ventilation is essential to maintain oxygenation and blood flow to the victim while chest compressions are performed to maintain adequate blood flow to the brain and other vital organs. It is also necessary to prevent brain damage and other life-threatening complications associated with cessation of breathing.


Definition and Meaning

Mouth-to-mouth resuscitation is a first aid technique used to provide air to a person whose breathing has stopped or is insufficient. The technique involves placing your mouth over the person's mouth and blowing air into their lungs to provide oxygen. This technique can be used in conjunction with cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) to help maintain blood flow and oxygenation of the body until medical help arrives. It is important to note that mouth-to-mouth resuscitation is a technique that must be performed correctly to be effective, and there can be risks of transmitting disease or infection, however small, if proper precautions are not taken. First aid training teaches the proper practices for performing mouth-to-mouth resuscitation safely and effectively.

Causes of ventilation failure

Stopping ventilation can be caused by a variety of reasons, including

  • Cardiac arrest,
  • Intoxication,
  • Drowning,
  • etc.

It is therefore crucial to react quickly to increase the chances of survival of the person concerned.

Chest compressions and minimal ventilation

Chest compressions performed during CPR have a mechanical effect on the lungs that ensures minimal ventilation. However, some consumer first aid training courses do not mention the mouth-to-mouth technique, considering it more effective to deliver a simplified message for short courses for people who will not be subject to ongoing training.