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Right after covid-19 has hit or lives the new normal seems to be way too different then what we used to live till date! As world is witnessing the spike in covid-19 cases, AHA have also issued covid-19 CPR guidelines for health workers as well as professional trainers.

Essential CPR guidelines for covid-19

The corona-virus pandemic seems to go nowhere anytime soon! In such crucial times the American Heart Association (AHA) has issued interim cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) guidelines that will be implemented during the COVID-19 pandemic. It is been recommended by AHA that bystanders and lay rescuers administer to opt for “hands only” CPR without mouth-to-mouth ventilation to limit exposures to the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19.

It is being considered that covid-19 second was much stronger and has caused more death casualties than the previous one! It is been the biggest concern of doctors and scientist these days the new variant found knows as SARS-Cov-2 which is being considered more lethal! However, on brighter side covid-19 vaccine see like a ray of hope after horrific thunderstorm.  The vaccines developed by the scientist around the world have potential to teach the body’s immune system to safely recognize and block the virus that causes COVID-19.Having that said still it is not able to eliminate it 100%, and is not a cure of covid-19.

But how to perform CPR in such crucial ties is something you should be aware just in case you might be in need of it. The guidelines should be followed by any individual or health worker looking forward to perform CPR or first aid.

  • Reducing provider exposure to COVID-19. Limit personnel in the room or on the scene to only those essential for patient care. Also, the AHA recommended additional precautions for emergency medical services (EMS) technicians and healthcare workers. Both EMS personnel and healthcare workers should opt for personal protective equipment (PPE) to guard against contact with both airborne and droplet particles before entering a patient room or where there is a cardiac arrest patient. Only essential personnel should be allowed in the room or on the spot. Avoid mass gathering in such situation.
  • Prioritize oxygenation and ventilation strategies with lower aerosolization risk. Emphasis has been placed on the use of HEPA filters for all ventilation and early and successful intubation with mechanical intubation to minimize the airborne spread of the virus. The Healthcare facilities should consider replacing manual chest compressions with mechanical CPR devices to reduce the number of rescuers required in a room. For intubation it involves a high risk of aerosolization, but for a closed-loop ventilation system it has a lower risk of aerosolization than other ventilation methods.

To consider the appropriate way of starting and continuing resuscitation. Health care systems and EMS agencies should institute policies to guide front-line providers in determining the appropriateness of starting and terminating CPR for patients with COVID-19, taking into account patient risk factors to estimate the likelihood of survival. EMS personnel and healthcare workers should protect themselves and their colleagues from unnecessary exposure to confirmed or suspected COVID-19 infections, according to the AHA.

  • Continuing to encourage bystander CPR and defibrillation, for with those willing and able, especially if they are household members who have already been exposed to the victim at home. For out-of-home cardiac arrests, a face mask or cloth covering the mouth and nose of the rescuer and/or victim may reduce the risk of transmission to a bystander during Hands-Only CPR.

If you’re administering CPR as first aid you also should consider covering their own and the cardiac arrest victim’s nose and mouth with a face mask or cloth to reduce the chance to caught disease transmission. Rescuers should also use an automated external defibrillator (AED), if one is available, because defibrillation is not expected to generate aerosol particles. As we’ve been witnessing that the risks of infection can be even higher and especially when administering CPR in a healthcare facility.

As mentioned earlier healthcare workers already are at the highest risk of acquiring SARS-CoV-2, according to the AHA, and administering CPR creates additional risks:

  • CPR can involve a number of aerosol-generating procedures that include performing chest compressions, providing positive-pressure ventilation, and establishing an advanced airway through intubation;
  • Resuscitation can require providers to work in close proximity to one another and the patient; and
  • The urgency to resuscitate a patient in cardiac arrest can result in lapses in infection-control protocols.

It is also recommended by AHA that healthcare workers should use a bag mask with a tight seal and an attached high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter before intubation or if intubation must be delayed. Healthcare workers also should consider using video laryngoscopy to reduce exposure to aerosolized particles during intubation.

The AHA, collaborated with the American Academy of Pediatrics, American Association for Respiratory Care, American College of Emergency Physicians, American Society of Anesthesiologists, and Society of Critical Care Anesthesiologists, with the support of the American Association of Critical Care Nurses and National EMS Physicians, compiled the interim guidelines.

For other safety requirements you can further look for additional resources which are listed down below:

Other standards do have CPR training requirements. We can never deny the fact and importance of CPR AED, but in ties of covid-19 it is essential to keep everyone protected while battling covid-19 pandemic. The guidelines issued by AHA must not be ignored or compromised to further avoid any spike or increment in covid-19 cases. No matter if you’re a professional health care person or professional CPR trained individual, it is our duty to keep the surrounding safe and sound

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