How to Perform CPR During the Coronavirus crisis

The Covid-19 pandemic is a challenging time for all of us. However, a situation may arise where CPR is necessary. Here’s how to stay safe while performing essential first aid during this time.

Wear gloves,
if possible

Perform chest compressions ONLY

Call 999 on loudspeaker

Loosely cover nose and mouth

Wash hands before and after

What is Covid-19?

The main symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) are a new continuous cough, a high temperature, and a loss of or change in taste or smell.

Anyone can become seriously ill with COVID-19. However, some people are at a higher risk.

How Does Covid-19 spread?

COVID-19 spreads from person to person through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes or speaks.

It is also possible that someone may become infected by touching a person, a surface or object that has been contaminated with respiratory secretions and then touching their own mouth, nose, or eyes. 

Checking the casualty

The first rule in first aid is never to put yourself in danger. Always ensure your own safety before approaching a casualty.

How do I minimise Infection risk?

We advise you do the following:

  • Place a cloth or towel over the casualty’s mouth and nose

  • Wear personal protective equipment (PPE) if possible. For example, gloves, plastic apron, face mask, face visor or goggles
  • Wash hands thoroughly with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand gel

  • Avoid touching your eyes, mouth and nose

How to perform CPR on an adult during Covid-19

  • Check the casualty for of signs of life and normal breathing

  • DO NOT listen or feel for breathing by placing your ear and cheek close to the casualty’s mouth

  • If you suspect cardiac arrest, call 999/112 and put your phone on loudspeaker. Beware them of possible COVID-19 in the casualty

  • If you are unsure if it is a cardiac arrest, start chest compressions until emergency help arrives

  • Put your hands together in the middle of the casualty’s chest and push hard and fast

  • If available, early use of a defibrillator significantly improves the casualty’s chances of survival and does not increase risk of infection

Stay up to date with the latest advice on coronavirus by visiting the following websites: NHS 111NHS InformGov.scot and the HSE. Visit the Resuscitation Council website here.

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