Performing First Aid/CPR During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Monday, October 5th, 2020
As the world still turns throughout this pandemic, emergencies still happen, and First Aid/CPR needs to be provided. With First Aid/CPR you need to be within close contact with the injured person which can put you at risk for contracting the virus. Some ways to administer First Aid or CPR while mitigating your risk for exposure include:
- Wear proper PPE. The CDC recommends wearing a respirator (N-95 mask), eye protection, disposable gloves, and a disposable isolation gown if possible. If you don’t have access to an N-95 mask, then a facemask is an alternative.
- If there is only one face mask available, the American Red Cross recommends putting the mask on the victim.
- When performing CPR, use a cloth or towel to cover the patient’s mouth and nose while still permitting breathing to restart following resuscitation if a mask is not available.
- Only deliver CPR through chest compressions and use an AED if available. Do not use rescue breaths.
- When administering first aid, make the victim comfortable and then step away to a safer distance when possible. Ask the victim, if possible, to turn their head away while you administer first aid to reduce your chances of being exposed to respiratory droplets.
- Once you have administered CPR or any form of first aid, wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water or an alcohol-based sanitizer, even if you wore gloves.
We all have to do our part to ensure the safety of our community. Be safe, follow the necessary precautions, and remember to wear a mask!