Artificial respiration is generally known as “the kiss of life” or “mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.” It is the act of simulating respiration for a person who is not breathing or not making sufficient respiratory effort on his or her own.
To be able to achieve internal respiration, the heart must be beating. Pulmonary ventilation is performed by the diver rescuer through manual inflation of the person’s lungs by blowing into them. This is called insufflation. Insufflation, generally known as “rescue breath ventilations,” is the act of physically forcing air into a person’s respiratory system. (It is advised that the rescue diver has an up-to-date certificate in artificial respiration and CPR.)
There are various methods for artificial respiration.
- Mouth to Mouth: The rescuer makes a seal between his or her mouth and the person’s mouth. The rescuer blows air into the person.
- Mouth to Mask: The recommended method for delivering rescue breaths while in water is the use of a pocket mask. The pocket mask protects the injured diver from the surrounding water since it covers the mouth and nose and is held in place with an elastic retainer. The mask provides a higher tidal volume and reduces the cross infection risk. Because a person metabolizes very little oxygen (± 4% of 21% oxygen) within a breath, there is more than enough residual oxygen available in the exhaled breath.
- Mouth to Nose:It is the rescuer’s choice to use this method because there may be vomit in the mouth or injuries. This method will not be practiced.
- Giving Oxygen: The amount of oxygen delivered to a victim during mouth-to-mouth resuscitation is about 16% (compared to 21% in normal fresh air). If a pocket mask is utilized, oxygen feeds can be fitted to the mask without removing it from the diver. This saves time that, of course, is essential. When using a constant flow system for addition of oxygen, this increases to about 40% oxygen. If a mechanical respirator is used with an oxygen supply, this rises to 99% oxygen. This is the most common method. The greater the oxygen concentration, the more efficient the gas exchange will be in the lungs.