Joint NHS London & Resuscitation Council UK statement on PPE requirements for chest compressions/ defibrillation

Resuscitation Council UK and NHS London have put together a joint statement that outlines their position on PPE requirements for chest compressions/defibrillation.

We have released this statement to support healthcare professionals who may need to perform chest compressions and defibrillation during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The statement can be read below:

In a cardiac arrest situation without treatment a person will die, usually within a few minutes. A rapid response provides the best chance for survival.

In an acute hospital setting the management of a cardiac arrest is likely to progress to include airway support / intubation and therefore many Acute Trusts have taken a pragmatic approach and advise within their CPR guidance that AGP PPE is worn.

In a non-acute setting where staff would not be expected to provide airway support / intubate in a cardiac arrest situation chest compressions /defibrillation should commence while awaiting advanced support e.g. ambulance services. Staff undertaking chest compressions / defibrillation in such settings should wear the highest level of PPE available to them for their clinical practice. Resuscitation Council UK also advises loosely placing a face covering over the nose and mouth of the patient.

If a cardiac arrest occurs in a public space (i.e. without the benefit of resuscitative equipment or PPE) including within a healthcare setting, first responders should follow PHE Guidance for First Responders and Resuscitation Council UK Community Guidance which advise, following a dynamic risk assessment, that individuals ensure that advanced support is on the way, where possible place a cloth over the patient's mouth and nose and commence chest compressions / defibrillation until advanced support arrives.

Click here to view and download the statement.