The ErgoMask: an Ergonomic Face Mask for Improved Left-Hand Grip
Schirin M. Missaghi, MD,1
Ernst Zadrobilek, MD2
Anesthetist and Intensive Care Physician, Department of Anesthesia
and Intensive Care, Empress Elisabeth Hospital of the City of
Vienna, Vienna, Austria.
of Anesthesia and Intensive Care, Chairman of the Austrian Working
Group for Airway Management,
Address correspondence and comments to
Schirin M. Missaghi.
Received from the Department
of Anesthesia and Intensive Care, Empress Elisabeth Hospital
of the City of Vienna, Vienna, Austria.
July 20, 2010.
The correct citation of this
communiction of new equipment and techniques is:
Krasser K, Zadrobilek E. The ErgoMask: an ergonomic face mask for improved
left-hand grip. Internet Journal of Airway Management
Available from URL:
Date accessed: month day, year.
updated: July 20, 2010.
Face-mask ventilation (FMV) is the most basic technique for
routine and emergency airway management (AM). FMV may become
difficult particularly when effective jaw thrust and mask seal
cannot be obtained. The two-handed FMV technique may overcome
these difficulties and may provide adequate oxygenation and
ventilation (1), but
requires an experienced assistance.
Matioc (2) designed an ergonomic face mask for improved left-hand
grip. This mask is
manufactured by King Systems (Noblesville, Indianapolis, United
States) and marketed under EndoMask (EM), currently available in a medium size for adults.
The EM is a disposable device with an
inflatable cuff. The airway connector is placed off the center
more to the right and front of the mask, creating an
asymmetrical dome with the left side larger larger than the
right side. The dome is equipped with grooves and edges to
accomodate the asymmetrical left-hand grip, with the posterior
part higher than the anterior part.
For optimum use of the EM, Matioc recommends first to apply a
chin-lift maneuver on the mentum with the left hand, stretching
the anterior neck structures and extending the head. The EM is
then placed on the face with the right hand and grasped with the
left hand with the thumb maximally reaching on the right side
and the index finger engaging on the rim, gripping the whole
mask and applying the seal. The first two fingers control the
right side of the mask and the palm controls the left side of
the mask; the other fingers are used to maintain the chin lift.
The EM may be a suitable device for routine and emergency AM,
particularly when FMV has to be initiated without adequate
assistance. Unfortunably, there are currently no clinical
studies available substantiating this suggestion.
The costs of the EM are about 00 Euro (exclusive value-added
taxes, according to the offer of the Austrian distributor of the
EM, queried in month year).
El-Orbany M, Woehlck HL. Difficult mask ventilation.
Matioc AA. The adult ergonomic face mask concept: historical
and theoretical perspectives.
J Clin Anesth