Resuscitation Council UK position on COVID-19 guidance in September 2020

Resuscitation Council UK (RCUK) welcomes the publication of guidance for the remobilisation of services within all health and care settings (with the exception of social care) throughout the United Kingdom. This guidance outlines Standard Infection Protection Control Precautions (SICPs) for all pathways and settings but also details how treatment, care and support is to be managed within three pathways: High, Medium, and Low risk. 

RCUK remains committed to optimising patient outcomes whilst maintaining safety for all personnel who attend resuscitation events. Throughout the pandemic, RCUK resuscitation guidance for known or suspected COVID-19 patients has been consistent, advising AGP PPE for chest compressions and advanced airway procedures. This position was acknowledged in the PHE Guidance dated 24 April 2020, which allowed healthcare organisations to choose to advise their staff to use AGP PPE when delivering chest compressions. 

The RCUK guidance for patients with known or suspected COVID-19 aligns with the High and Medium risk categories. We therefore recommend that the COVID-19 algorithms are followed and that AGP PPE continues to be used for chest compressions and advanced airway procedures for patients allocated to these two categories. 

For patients allocated to the Low Risk category, the standard pre-COVID algorithms can be used and all healthcare staff attending resuscitation events should wear a minimum of a Type II fluid resistant surgical mask, eye protection, disposable gloves, and an apron.

For resuscitation service planning we recommend that local decision makers decide the level of risk within each area and apply the appropriate resuscitation algorithm in order to ensure appropriate treatment. Integral to this will be clear communication to all members of staff to ensure that there is no delay to resuscitation and no increased risk to healthcare worker safety.  

RCUK is continuing to monitor the situation closely and we are committed to regularly reviewing our COVID-19 resuscitation Guidance to ensure that we consider any new or emerging evidence in this area. In doing so we will continue to ensure that health care professionals give patients the best chance of survival while keeping themselves as safe as possible.