Basic Life Support with Covid19 Considerations
Basic Life Support with Covid-19 Considerations
(10 True/False questions with explanations)
The Resuscitation Council (UK) recommend Chest Compressions Only - Basic Life Support for an ‘out-of-hospital' cardiac arrest.
TRUE: This is to minimise the risk of cross infection whilst still providing quality chest compressions.
To check if an unresponsive person is breathing normally, put your ear to their mouth, and Look, Listen, Feel for breathing for up to 10 seconds.
FALSE: To minimise the risk of cross infection, DO NOT go close to the patients’ mouth, just look to see if the patient is breathing normally.
A mask, tea-towel or similar covering should be placed over the patients’ mouth and nose.
TRUE: This will prevent droplets being expelled into the air, minimising the risk of cross infection.
Chest compressions need to be performed against the patient’s bare skin.
FALSE: Chest compressions will work through clothing and even Personal Protective Equipment.
If you see the patient try to take an occasional breath, then don’t do Basic Life Support.
FALSE: Agonal breathing is ineffective breathing. It is slow and abnormal. When the heart stops beating, a distress signal goes from the brain to the lungs, telling them to do something. The result is slow gasp-like breaths. You MUST call 999, request a defibrillator and then start Basic Life Support.
Chest Compressions should be done at a rate of 100-120 compressions a minute, pushing down on the sternum 5-6cm each time.
TRUE: The correct placement is on the sternum, mid nipple-line. The hands, one on top of the other, fingers interlocked, must always stay in contact with the chest (no bouncing). Allow the chest to recoil all the way back up after each compression. Keep your arms straight. Swap roles with another helper every two minutes because it will be very tiring.
You should stop chest compressions if you hear any ribs break.
FALSE: If you hear a rib break, make sure that the heal of your hand is still pushing down over the sternum, but continue with the chest compressions. Some people, especially the elderly have bones that are more likely to fracture.
You should stop chest compressions when you hear the ambulance arrive.
FALSE: The ambulance crew will need to put on their own PPE and this will take a few minutes. Keep going until they tell you to stop, or the person recovers, or you are unable to continue.
The early use of a defibrillator is still advised
TRUE: The sooner a defibrillator can be used on the patient, the better their chance of survival. There is no change in how to apply the pads or deliver the shock.
If the patient is an unconscious child who is not breathing normally, then do nothing, just wait for the ambulance.
FALSE: The Resuscitation Council (UK) recommend that you act quickly. Is there an object stuck in their mouth that you can remove? Call 999 and then perform Chest Compressions Only Basic Life Support. If you are trained in Paediatric Basic Life Support, it is preferable that you still follow that training as it has better outcomes and the risk to the rescuer is considered to be small. If nothing else, do Chest Compressions Only – Basic Life support.
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