The LifeVac Airway Clearance Device is simple in construction. It consists of a handle and bellows made of a light-weight, low density polyethylene which is connected to a one-way ball valve. The face of the valve has a universal port into which any standard BVM mask can be securely fit. It is nonpowered, manual, and portable.
The device employs negative pressure in order to generate suction. The one-way ball valve is a critical component of this process. When the handle is depressed, the bellows fold downward and all air is forced out of the device through a series of vents along the outer rim on the face of the device. The one-way ball valve then prevents the air from returning through those same vents. This effectively creates a vacuum in the device. When the handle is pulled upward in a short, swift motion, the one-way ball valve maintains the vacuum while negative pressure causes a suction effect within the patient’s airway. If a complete seal of the BVM mask is maintained around the patient’s mouth, enough pressure will be generated to remove the obstruction from their airway.