Podcast 517: It’s all about the PEEP  - The Emergency Medical Minute

Podcast 517: It’s all about the PEEP 

Contributor: Dylan Luyten, MD

Educational Pearls:

  • Bag-valve masks (BVM) typically  have a port to connect O2 to. Unfortunately room air becomes entrained in the mask, reducing the FiO2 delivered to the patient. This can be overcome by using a PEEP (positive end-expiratory pressure) valve on the BVM 
  • PEEP valves function by keeping alveoli open in the lungs at the end of expiration. This increases the oxygen diffusing ability of the lungs, keeping patients’ oxygen saturations higher. 
  • Patients who are critically ill can become quickly hypoxic after RSI meds due to reduced functional residual lung capacity – an issue that can be overcome with a PEEP valve 
  • PEEP also will reduce work of breathing in COPD and CHF patients


Bucher JT, Cooper JS. Bag Mask Ventilation (Bag Valve Mask, BVM) [Updated 2019 Jul 30]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2019 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK441924/

Summarized by Will Dewispelaere, MS4 | Edited by Erik Verzemnieks, MD

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