We would like to assure our supporters that we are continuing with our lifesaving work as best as we can. For the time being, we have suspended all CPR training session in schools, and will only be providing CPR and defibrillator demonstrations to communities or organisations who have recently obtained a defibrillator through us. We believe it is vital that this training is still given to essential personnel. Our trainers are already well versed in maintaining high standards of hygiene, but they will also be taking extra precautions, such as demonstrating how to use a defibrillator to smaller groups, ensuring hand washing facilities are available at all sessions, and abstaining from practicing rescue breaths on manikins.
Furthermore, we would like to stress the importance of giving CPR in an emergency situation, despite the COVID-19 outbreak. Like Coronavirus, cardiac arrest doesn't discriminate, and failure to act when someone has a cardiac arrest will almost certainly result in death. Please don't be afraid to give CPR if needed - we would strongly advise against giving rescue breaths, but hands only CPR can and should be performed if necessary.
Here is the current advice that the Resuscitation Council UK is currently issuing regarding CPR in the event of a cardiac arrest:
◦ Recognise cardiac arrest by looking for the absence of signs of life and the absence of normal breathing. Do not listen or feel for breathing by placing your ear and cheek close to the patient’s mouth. If you are in any doubt about confirming cardiac arrest, the default position is to start chest compressions until help arrives.
◦ Make sure an ambulance is on its way. If COVID-19 is suspected, tell them when you call 999.
◦ If there is a perceived risk of infection, rescuers should attempt compression only CPR and early defibrillation until the ambulance (or advanced care team) arrives. Put hands together in the middle of the chest and push hard and fast.
Early use of a defibrillator significantly increases the person’s chances of survival and does not increase risk of infection.
◦ If the rescuer has access to personal protective equipment (PPE) (e.g. FFP3 face mask, disposable gloves, eye protection), these should be worn.
◦ After performing compression-only CPR, all rescuers should wash their hands thoroughly with soap and water; alcohol-based hand gel is a convenient alternative. They should also seek advice from the NHS 111 coronavirus advice service or medical adviser.
Thank you for your understanding and support during this difficult time. Stay safe ❤️