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Please see below for the latest information on Covid-19

Covid 19 First Aid Guidance


Carrying out CPR during the Pandemic:

The following advice comes from the UK Resuscitation Council and full details can be found here:

Adult CPR:

There is an increased risk at the present time of cross infection between the responder and the casualty.  The majority of this risk comes from carrying out mouth to mouth ventilations.  The latest guidance for adult CPR is to do the following:

  • If you feel that the casualty may be a victim of Covid-19 or carrying the virus then carry out the modified steps below.
  • Recognise cardiac arrest by looking for an absence of signs of life, no breathing and lack of colour.  Do not carry out a head tilt chin lift and place your cheek close to the mouth.
  • Call an ambulance using 999 and put on speaker phone.
  • Cover the casualties face with a towel or something similar (To stop droplets coming out of the airway)
  • Carry out chest compressions in the normal way at a rate of 100-120 beats per minute.
  • If there is a defibrillator available then you should use this, there is no additional risk form this and you may save their life.
  • After you have carried out CPR then you should wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water; alcohol-based hand gel is a convenient alternative. You should also seek advice from the NHS 111 coronavirus advice service or medical adviser. 

Child CPR:

We are aware that paediatric cardiac arrest is unlikely to be caused by a cardiac problem and is more likely to be a respiratory one, making ventilations crucial to the child’s chances of survival. However, for those not trained in paediatric resuscitation, the most important thing is to act quickly to ensure the child gets the treatment they need in the critical situation. 

It is likely that the child/infant having an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest will be known to you. We accept that doing rescue breaths will increase the risk of transmitting the COVID-19 virus, either to the rescuer or the child/infant. However, this risk is small compared to the risk of taking no action as this will result in certain cardiac arrest and the death of the child.  



General First Aid Guidance:

If you are carrying out first aid on a member of your own household then the risk of you catching the Covid-19 virus is pretty irrelevant, if they have it, then so do you!

If you are carrying out first aid on somebody who is not a household contact then you should follow the advice from the European Resuscitation Council:

  • The use of PPE (gloves, masks, eye-protection, etc) may not be applicable to all first aid, but care should always be taken to protect the casualty and the first aid provider.
  • If the casualty is responsive and able to follow selfcare advice, provide first aid advice from a safe (2m) distance. If the casualty has a face cover/ mask available, encourage them to wear it while being cared for. Family members, if willing, may be coached to provide direct first aid. It may also be necessary to provide dressings, bandages, etc. from outside the immediate contact area.
  • If the casualty is unresponsive or unable to provide selfcare then it may be necessary to provide direct care. However, the casualty and the first aid provider must be aware of the risk of virus transfer.
  • Sequence of actions for bystander care of a casualty outside of the household: • Call for medical assistance immediately.
  • Where possible wear gloves when touching or handling the casualty.
  • Wear a face cover/mask if available and consider placing a face cover/ mask over the face of the casualty.
  • Only handle/touch what is absolutely essential, remembering that all surfaces in and around the casualty may be contaminated by the virus.
  • Only provide essential direct first aid in order to limit your exposure time. This may include controlling significant bleeding, applying a dressing, use of an adrenaline autoinjector, assessing for responsiveness by shaking the person and shouting, and positioning of a casualty.

Following completion of first aid treatment, it is essential to:

  • remove and dispose of any PPE
  • wash your hands thoroughly with soap and hot water for at least 20 seconds
  • wash all your clothing as soon as practicable
  • be prepared to self-isolate and follow national guidance if you develop COVID-19 symptoms after providing direct first aid