The LifeVac is an FDA-registered, non-powered, non-invasive, single-use only airway clearance device developed for resuscitating a victim with an airway obstruction when current choking protocols have been followed without success. LifeVac has a one-way valve that does not allow any air to enter a choking victim on the downward motion.
Over my 25+ years of experience responding to medical emergencies, choking emergencies were always one of the more stressful situations I encountered. While most patients fare well, there is always the chance for that an obstruction can not be relieved using conventional methods. Basic Life Support providers (EMT-Basic in New York) were limited to the same conventional airway obstruction relief techniques taught to laypersons, and it was only paramedics who possessed the training and equipment to perform more invasive techniques to relieve an airway obstruction. Often by the time these techniques were utilized, patients had been without oxygen for several minutes, complicated the chances of a successful outcome.
The LifeVac is a formidable “tool in the toolbox” that now gives parents, teachers, babysitters, laypersons, and BLS providers another studied and tested intervention for relieving airway obstructions that cannot be relieved by conventional methods.
LifeVac is equipped to be used on persons starting at 22 pounds utilizing the pediatric mask. Per their mask manufacturer’s recommended guidelines 22 pounds is the minimum weight for the pediatric mask to fit properly. Manufacturers must create specifications where their tests show the product functions optimally. LifeVac has verified testimonials that the rescue device was used successfully under that weight recommendation saving infants’ lives. After all other choking rescue measures were unsuccessful the parent used the rescue device at their discretion as a last resort to save their child. LifeVac has safely saved children ranging from 3 weeks old to 13 years old.
No, this is one of the reasons we prefer this device over other choking-relief devices on the market. Unlike other brands that must be fully replaced every few years, the LifeVac device will NOT have to be replaced unless used to save the life of a choking victim. Only the masks will need to be replaced every 2-3 years, which is considerably less expensive than replacing entire units.. The outer packaging of the masks indicates an expiration date.
The LifeVac device is one-time use-only airway clearance device. If the LifeVac device is used in a choking emergency and has saved the victim’s life, the unit should not be used again for sanitary reasons. If used, please contact us through our website to fill out a “Report a Life Saved” questionnaire. LifeVac will contact you and gladly replace your unit free of charge. (https://lifevac.net/lifevac-saved-a-life-report/). The LifeVac unit can be used multiple times if the obstruction is not dislodged on the first application. The masks should be inspected and consider replacing every 2-3 years.
Yes, if you are alone, you can use LifeVac on yourself in a choking emergency, and the LifeVac can be used in any position. (Sitting, standing, laying down). LifeVac has had reports where parents have used the rescue device on a child in a high chair and sitting on their lap.