Laerdal self-inflating bag-valve-mask resuscitator

This device has not come up in the written exam, but frequently examiners (or just evil-minded intensivsts) like to offer the trainees a Laerdal bag, and ask them to reasemble it from scratch, or discuss the volume it contains, or something similar.

Features of this device

  • Bag constructed from inert plastic which re-expands after compression
  • Adult bag = 1600 mL volume
  • Oxygen is connected to the bag reservoir
  • Air intake valve prevents oxygen from refluxing back into the reservoir
  • An oxygen flow rate of at least the minute volume of the patient allows 100% oxygen to be delivered.
  • Second one-way valve prevents exhaled gas from re-entering the bag
  • It comes with a standard 15 mm adapter for attaching to airway devices
  • Able to attach PEEP valve to exhalation port (built in or detachable)

Complications of manual ventilation:

  • Increased work of breathing while breathing spontaneously against the duckbill inspiratory valve
  • gastric distension
  • aspiration
  • claustrophobia
  • risk of barotrauma
  • if high free gas flows are not used high FiO2 will not be achieved


Laerdal have a website dedicated to their products - here is their line of silicone bag resuscitators.

The manual has some excellent pictures of the device assembly and safe operation.