Myth: If I don’t have a CPR mask or face shield available, a tea towel or hanky will provide protection from disease while performing the mouth to mouth part of CPR.


Ordinary household items provide no useful protection from the transmission of disease. Commercially available barriers may provide some protection, however,

  • The risk of transmission is very low
  • First aiders are most likely to perform CPR on a relative
  • Such devices may cause the first aider to focus on the mouth to mouth aspect of CPR (compressions are the most important part of CPR)
  • Such devices complicate the process of CPR
  • Such devices are often not available