In most of the cases, an assistant was needed to ensure that the seal was maintained. When consciousness is lost, there is an inev- itable change in muscle tone and facial contour. The involvement of an assistant in such a situation remains a cause for concern as it changes the situation from one of suicide, to one of suicide as- sistance which can bring significant legal risk to the assistant.
This legal problem led to the abandonment of the Smith-Hofsess DeBreather and attention turned to the use of inert gases and an Exit Bag.
As if to prove the old ‘plus ca change’ adage true, a modified De- Breather was presented at the 2017 meeting of NuTech in Toron- to Canada. This R2D ReBreather claimed to have overcome the problems of the earlier model and the model was jointly awarded the 2017 NuTech development prize.
It is the new R2D DeBreather that is reviewed in this chapter.
The different facemasks used in the 1998 Smith Hofsess & the 2017 R2D DeBreathers