Staff Training Blog (2)

Message from Keith Johnson, your first aid trainer; “Hi everyone some new guidance has emerged from the Resuscitation Council (The people that decide the rates for CPR vs Breaths amongst other things) and it's a bit of a radical change to what we know. As you know, CPR puts a lot of downward pressure on the chest cavity, and each compression is to be completed with a compression of around a third of the total depth of the chest (5-6cm in an adult). This creates an involuntary exhalation effect and is often followed in time by fluids, sometimes from the stomach, spraying directly upwards, and air from the persons lungs, sometimes deep from the 2nd or 3rd lung lobes, hence our resuscitation masks and face shields. This normally causes minor problems for the rescuer and normal infection control protocols apply and are sufficient most of the time. We are not in 'normal' times as you may have noticed, and the risk of catching Coronavirus from an infected casualty is very high at this point, just to add to the complexity of the situation! This compression causes something called an Aerosol Generating Procedure (AGP), so we are now to take a slightly different approach to CPR for the time being”.

Please watch the below YouTube video from the Resuscitation Council, which explains how to carry out CPR while ensuring you remain safe from coronavirus.

Written guidance from the Resuscitation Council UK

It view of the heightened awareness of the possibility that the victim may have COVID-19, Resuscitation Council UK offers this advice: 

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 place a cloth/towel over the victim’s mouth and nose and 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), 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.


If you have any questions about the use of compression only CPR then please contact Keith at


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