a. Our 12 point action plan to protect you from infection.
- Each candidate will be asked to confirm that they are without symptoms of infection just before the course starts.
- Each candidate will be asked to confirm that they should not be self-isolating, just before the course starts.
- Classes will be small with a maximum of 6 candidates.
- Workstations will be spaced at least 2 metres apart.
- All activities that form the course have been risk assessed and mitigations to risk put in place.
- Each candidate will have sole use of a mannequin to practice Basic Life Support skills.
- Each candidate will get to practice Basic Life Support using a pocketmask. The candidate can take this pocketmask away with them for protection for when rescue breaths are reintroduced.
- Each candidate will have sole use of a training defibrillator to practice using this device.
- Each candidate will have sole use of a prosthetic limb to practice bandaging of wounds.
- Each candidate will have sole use of a sanitising hand gel, and anti viral/bacterial wipes.
- Each candidate will get to use PPE when performing The Recovery Position or any time when 2m social distancing can not be maintained.
- Good hand hygiene and respiratory hygiene will be encouraged throughout the course.
b. First Aid certification advice from the HSE
First aid cover and qualifications during the coronavirus outbreak
If first aid cover for your business is reduced because of coronavirus or you can’t get the first aid training you need, there are some things you can do so that you still comply with the law.
You should review your first aid needs assessment and decide if you can still provide the cover needed for the workers that are present and the activities that they are doing.
Keep enough first aid cover
If there are fewer people coming into your workplace it may still be safe to operate with reduced first aid cover. You could also stop higher risk activities.
Share first aid cover with another business
You could share the first aiders of another business, but be sure that they have the knowledge, experience and availability to cover the first aid needs of your business.
Shared first aiders must:
- be aware of the type of injuries or illnesses that you identified in your First Aid Needs Assessment and have the training and skills to address them
- know enough about your work environment and its first aid facilities
- be able to get to the workplace in good time if needed
Whoever provides the temporary cover must make sure they do not adversely affect their own first aid cover.
First aid certificate extensions
If you hold a first aid certificate that expires on or after 16 March 2020 and cannot access requalification training because of coronavirus you may qualify for a 3-month extension. This applies to:
- Offshore Medic (OM)
- Offshore First Aid (OFA)
- First Aid at(FAW)
- Emergency First Aid at Work (EFAW)
To qualify for the extension, you must be able to explain why you haven’t been able to requalify and demonstrate what steps you have taken to access the training, if asked to do so.
Interrupted first aid training
If because of coronavirus you cannot complete training for your first aid qualification within the usual timeframe, training can restart at a later date as long as:
- a full recap of training delivered before the interruption is done before moving onto undelivered modules
- the awarding body is content that you can show:
- a full understanding of all aspects of the course content
- the knowledge required and competencies at the end of the training
c. Resuscitation advice from the Resuscitation Council (UK)
This statement is for anyone who is performing CPR/defibrillation in an out-of-hospital setting.
Whenever CPR is carried out, particularly on an unknown victim, there is some risk of cross infection, associated particularly with giving rescue breaths. Normally, this risk is very small and is set against the inevitability that a person in cardiac arrest will die if no assistance is given. The first things to do are shout for help and dial 999.
Watch what to do in an emergency.
- First responders should consult the latest advice on the NHS website ( https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov-interim-guidance-for-first-responders/interim-guidance-for-first-responders-and-others-in-close-contact-with-symptomatic-people-with-potential-2019-ncov).
- Those laypeople and first responders with a duty of care (workplace first-aiders, sports coaches etc.) that may include CPR should be guided by their employer’s advice.
- This guidance may change based on increasing experience in the care of patients with COVID-19.
- Healthcare workers should consult the recommendations from the World Health Organisation and Department of Health and Social Care for further information, and advice by nation is at the conclusion of this statement.
Resuscitation Council UK Guidelines 2015 state “If you are untrained or unable to do rescue breaths, give chest compression-only CPR (i.e. continuous compressions at a rate of at least 100–120 min-1)”.
Because 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 victims 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) (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.
We are aware that paediatric cardiac arrest is unlikely to be caused by a cardiac problem and is more likely to be a respiratory one, making ventilations crucial to the child’s chances of survival. However, for those not trained in paediatric resuscitation, the most important thing is to act quickly to ensure the child gets the treatment they need in the critical situation.
For out-of-hospital cardiac arrest, the importance of calling an ambulance and taking immediate action cannot be stressed highly enough. If a child is not breathing normally and no actions are taken, their heart will stop and full cardiac arrest will occur. Therefore, if there is any doubt about what to do, this statement should be used.
It is likely that the child/infant having an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest will be known to you. We accept that doing rescue breaths will increase the risk of transmitting the COVID-19 virus, either to the rescuer or the child/infant. However, this risk is small compared to the risk of taking no action as this will result in certain cardiac arrest and the death of the child.
- Public Health Wales statement on Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak: https://phw.nhs.wales/news/public-health-wales-statement-on-novel-coronavirus-outbreak/
- Coronavirus (Covid-19) updates for Northern Ireland: https://www.health-ni.gov.uk/coronavirus\
- COVID-19: guidance for health professionals [Public Health England]: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/wuhan-novel-coronavirus
- Coronavirus (Covid-19) [Health Protection Scotland]: https://www.hps.scot.nhs.uk/a-to-z-of-topics/covid-19/