Due to Covid-19 it is recommended that if an adult requires CPR then chest compression only CPR is performed with a cloth covering over the face (see my earlier blog article). However, there are some situations where it is appropriate to perform rescue breaths even where there may be a small risk of covid-19 transmission. These include:

  • children
  • someone who has drowned

This is because in these situations the brain and heart muscle are oxygen starved (as opposed to the electrical rhythm of the heart being in chaos) and therefore without putting oxygen back into the system the casualty is unlikely to survive. 

Using a pocket mask device provides the most effective one-way barrier that a first aider can possibly have to hand. If inverted (used upside-down) then it can be made to fit the face of a smaller child adequately to administer rescue breaths.

I would recommend any workplace keep two pocket masks with their AED if they have one, and then if it is a child casualty in the workplace it will still be possible to perform rescue breaths whilst keeping the first aiders as safe as possible with respect to Covid-19.

Click here for a demonstration of how to use a Pocket Mask.

 

Helen Underwood

March 2021

 

 

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