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Lifevac vs Lifewand - Comparison Guide 2022

Last Updated:
5 min read

Choking is a rare topic since people rarely choke. Therefore, very few people – apart from the medics - are skilled enough to treat a choking person. In addition, choking could be life-threatening, and most of the time, the response from the emergency medical team is never quick enough. By the time you begin searching around for the best solution, it is already late.

With this digital age, there is a technological solution for almost everything. The thought of you frantically searching for a choking solution can be frustrating. This piece will give you a review of two popular first aid choking devices created by top companies. These are Lifevac and Lifewand devices.

Lifevac vs Lifewand First Aid Choking Devices





Shape and Structure

Accordion shape

Pressure sensitive mechanism




Expiry Date

Lifetime. Only the masks need to be replaced every 2-3 years



1.01 lb

0.77 lb


Avaliable on the official website*

Available on the official website**

Comparison of Lifevac and Lifewand Based on the Mode of Operation – Manual or Automatic

Lifevac first aid choking devices have closed systems that use mechanical – manual – force to create the quick and powerful suction bursts that are critical for creating a negative pressure environment. Normally, with the negative pressure environment in the person's airway, the unit encases the obstructions and pulls them up and out of the airway.

Essentially, you don't have to think about the de-choking process or take an online. You need to put the device on the patient's mouth, push it down and then pull. It works almost like a plunger. To use Lifevac, follow the following steps.

Place the devices mask on the victim's mouth and ensure there is a tight seal

Make a quick downward thrust on the device through the handle

While one of your hands holds the mask down on the victims face

Manipulate the handle and make an upward pull

Lifevac placed on mouth
LifeVac Place Push Pull

Typically, upon the downward thrust, the plastic accordion on the device compresses the device forcing the air out through the one-way valve. This leads to creating a vacuum chamber that sucks out the obstruction once the handle is pulled upwards.

Lifewand, on the other hand, is more technologically abled as compared to Lifevac. Essentially, it was designed and engineered to remove an obstruction from a victim's airway without much ado. This would be the best option if you were to think about efficiency and the general lack of first aid choking skills.

Now, Lifewand can remove obstructions that include food materials, plastic objects, or even tiny blocks. How does it work? To get the device to work, all you need to do is place it on the victim's nose and mouth. Typically, once the device covers the victim's mouth, it automatically activates a pressure-sensitive environment that sucks out the obstruction.


How Lifevac and Lifewand Compares Based on Ergonomics

In terms of ergonomics, Lifevac offers top-class delivery. It would be best if you held the mask squarely against the victim's face. This will create an air seal creating a pressure environment.

Essentially, the seal is affected by the edges where the soft inflated rim of the mask comes into contact with the victim's chin, glabella – the region of your face that has the forehead, the tip of your nose, and the space between the eyebrows – and cheeks.

Lifevac putting on

Consequently, the small vacuum chamber created inside the mask generates a negative pressure environment that sucks the obstruction. Additionally, Lifevac does not require a lot of sizing. Therefore, your efforts will be directed towards the immediate treatment of a choking victim.

With Lifewand, you get convenience and ergonomics bundled into one package. To begin with, Lifewand does not require you to have any knowledge on obstruction. You need to place the device on the patient's face and let it do the heavy lifting.

Essentially, this does not make it simple to decide on the clear winner. However, Lifewand requires lots of sizing since it is generally used for children. Therefore, you would have to be aware of the correct size for your patient.

Comparison of Lifevac and Lifewand Based on Age Appropriateness

Lifevac is essentially available for most ages. According to the manufacturers, any person can use it if they weigh more than 22 pounds. However, it is not appropriate for use on infants. However, there are many cases where the first aid choking device has been used on toddlers to remove obstructions such as candy and other objects with no problems.

LifeVac is 100% effective to date with no adverse effects. Information on age-oriented harm usage is not yet available, and we can only assume the device is harmless.

Lifewand, on the other hand, is more appropriate for children. According to the manufacturers, the device was made primarily for children aged between one and 13 years.

However, with the rise in demand for the devices and the growth in technology, the company has also developed masks for people older than 14 years. Typically, the masks for this device are as follows.

  • Small masks for children aged between one and six years
  • Medium size masks for children aged between six and 13 years
  • Large masks for people aged above 14 years

You can tell that both devices are great for different ages. However, with regards to age, Lifevac is your best bet when it comes to mild obstructions. Cases, where the obstructions in children are large and more delicate require the use of Lifewand.

How Lifevac and Lifewand Differs Based on Portability

LifeVac travel kit

Lifevac is the clear winner in this category. Essentially, you can carry the device in a medical bag, a simple handbag, a backpack, or even a large jacket pocket. You can typically use the device anywhere and anytime when the emergency comes calling. All you need to do is pull it out, get on your knees and apply the suction.

Lifewand is relatively larger but portable all the same. Though you can carry it in a backpack or a medical bag, you would need a relatively large handbag to carry it. It is also slightly heavier than Lifevac but all the same life-saving.

Lifewand on wall

Usage Technicality of Lifevac and Lifewand

When a person is choking to death, you will probably not have the time or convenience of making mistakes. This can make you feel frustrated since you don't know whether you are doing the right thing. With Lifevac, you need to ensure that the process of removing the obstruction is implemented skillfully without hiccups.

Though you will finally get the hang of it after some practice, there are no choking situations that are similar. Therefore, it requires precise action with a precise amount of pressure to remove the obstruction. If you are not well skilled with Lifevac, you might end up not doing the right job.

When it comes to Lifewand, you don't need any particular skill to get started. Place the mask on the victim's face and let the device do the work for you. Since you will only be using one of your hands, you can use the other hand to make a call to the emergency response team or make inquiries. Additionally, Lifewand is calibrated to administer the negative pressure precisely. Essentially, you don't need to worry about your actions being inadequate.


Comparison of Lifevac and Lifewand Delivery Speed

Choking can be fatal. Therefore, any treatment requires speed and accuracy. With the Lifevac device, you can clear a victim's airway obstruction in approximately one second. This rapid action rate makes it easier for the patient to recover from choking. Additionally, it greatly lowers the fatality rate that rises from choking.

Lifewand's delivery speed is also great. However, Lifewand could sometimes be faster than Lifevac since the device is automatic and does not require extra skills. In addition, the automatic calibration and pressure-sensitive performance ensure that you can remove obstructions faster and quicker.


Generally, the two devices are excellent in their way. Lifevac is great for a majority of the ages except for the children, while Lifewand serves the children better.

Written by Carl Browning

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