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The American Heart Association (AHA), along with several organizations including the AAP, have published updated guidance for resuscitating adults, children and neonates who are confirmed or suspected to have COVID-19.
“2022 Interim Guidance to Health Care Professionals for Basic and Advanced Cardiac Life Support in Adults, Children, and Neonates With Suspected or Confirmed COVID-19” was published Jan. 24 in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes.
The new guidance emphasizes the need for personal protective equipment (PPE) while performing CPR, reinforcing best practices and ensuring an adequate PPE supply for health care providers.
“Protecting the health and safety of health care professionals remains critical and includes ensuring the recommended personal protective equipment is available and that health care professionals use it properly,” Dianne Atkins, M.D., FAAP, lead author of the interim guidance, said in a news release.
The interim guidance addresses the emergence of the delta and omicron variants, which are more transmissible than previous strains. It emphasizes the need for PPE, including respirators, gowns, gloves and eye protection. If first responders are not already wearing appropriate PPE, they should put on PPE immediately and then begin CPR.
Health care professionals also should continue to follow the latest guidelines from the World Health Organization, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and regional authorities and local institutions.
The guidance includes pediatric basic life support algorithms with one and multiple rescuers and a pediatric cardiac arrest algorithm for patients with suspected or confirmed COVID-19.
Following are additional updates in the guidance:
- All health care providers should wear a respirator (e.g., N95), gown, gloves and eye protection when performing aerosol-generating procedures or in a setting where such procedures are performed regularly on patients with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 infection.
- Health care providers should have access to PPE in all clinical settings, regardless of whether resuscitation may be performed. Health care organizations should ensure training on PPE use is provided, reinforce effective use of PPE and create systems so health care providers have immediate access to PPE when emergency care is required.
- Best practices should be reinforced. Survival depends on early initiation of CPR, including chest compressions as soon as safely possible. Patients with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 should receive the best resuscitative efforts possible.
Other organizations collaborating on the updated interim guidance include the American Association for Respiratory Care, the Society of Critical Care Anesthesiologists and the American Society of Anesthesiologists.