Internet Journal of Airway Management


Volume 6 (January 2010 to December 2011)


The ErgoMask: an Ergonomic Face Mask for Improved Left-Hand Grip



Schirin M. Missaghi, MD,1 Klaus Krasser, MD,1 and Ernst Zadrobilek, MD2


1 Staff Anesthetist and Intensive Care Physician, Department of Anesthesia and Intensive Care, Empress Elisabeth Hospital of the City of Vienna, Vienna, Austria.

2Associate Professor of Anesthesia and Intensive Care, Chairman of the Austrian Working Group for Airway Management, Vienna, Austria.


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.


Published: July 20, 2010.



The correct citation of this communiction of new equipment and techniques is:

Missaghi SM, Krasser K, Zadrobilek E. The ErgoMask: an ergonomic face mask for improved left-hand grip. Internet Journal of Airway Management 6, 2010-2011.
Available from URL:
Date accessed: month day, year.


Last 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).   




  1. El-Orbany M, Woehlck HL. Difficult mask ventilation. Anesth Analg 109:1870-1880, 2009.

  2. Matioc AA. The adult ergonomic face mask concept: historical and theoretical perspectives. J Clin Anesth 21:300-304, 2009.

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