Keep up to date on how to protect yourself and your clients. The American Heart Association, in collaboration with other medical organizations, has published interim CPR guidelines, plus additional information, to help rescuers treat victims of cardiac arrest with suspected or confirmed COVID-19. The goal is twofold: Promote survival chances and protect rescuer safety. Modifications include the following:

  • Limit personnel in the room or on the scene to those essential for patient care.
  • Cover the victim’s mouth and nose with a cloth or mask.
  • If you are the rescuer, wear a face mask that covers the mouth and nose.
  • Perform hands-only CPR.

“CPR remains a critical component of care . . . particularly during this pandemic, but it does place rescuers at increased risk of COVID-19 exposure,” said Dana P. Edelson, MD, MS, executive medical director of Rescue Care at the University of Chicago and corresponding author of the volunteer writing group for the interim guidelines. “This guidance draws on evolving science and expert opinion to help health systems and providers mitigate that risk with the hopes of maintaining the survival gains for cardiac arrest achieved over the past two decades.”

The guidelines are available in Circulation (2020; doi:10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.120.047463).