Updated guidance for basic life support during COVID-19

Ahead of the holidays, updated guidance has been issued for Basic Life Support adjustments in a living with COVID-19 paradigm.

The guidance has been issued by the National COVID-19 Clinical Evidence Taskforce, of which the Australian Resuscitation Council is a member, and was published on 14 December 2021.

Royal Life Saving Society – Australia and the National Aquatic Industry Committee had sought clarification regarding rescue breathing and drowning victims, including children, as previous guidance recommended compression-only CPR.  The National COVID-19 Clinical Evidence Taskforce Guidance recommends that rescue breaths should be provided to all children and any drowning casualty and recommends that the rescuer uses a bag valve mask where available.

Royal Life Saving Society – Australia Chief Executive Officer Justin Scarr said the guidance was welcome and provides greater clarity for paid and volunteer rescuers across the water safety sector and aquatic industry.

“The guidance issued by the National COVID-19 Clinical Evidence Taskforce acknowledges that rescue breaths are critical in saving lives for drowning casualties and children who require basic life support,” said Mr Scarr.

“The importance of rescue breaths and considerations towards the safety of first responders has now been addressed. We desperately hope these are actions not needed at aquatic centres over summer,” continued Mr Scarr.

Click here to view the guidance which is available in the form of a flowchart.

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