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So I guess you will all now be planning for your flu vaccination sessions soon approaching. Of course it is going to be different all round this year due to covid and having to be wearing PPE for the vaccinations.

As part of your planning, you should also consider how you may deal with a patient who collapses post vaccination. During CPR there is always a risk of being exposed to bodily fluids from chest compressions or ventilation. So based upon the guidance from The Resuscitation Council UK, here is what you will need to do differently to keep everyone safe if you suspect your collapsed patient may have covid:

  • 1) When you assess the collapsed patient to see if they are breathing, rather than ‘looking & listening’ for breathing – look for signs of life and normal breathing instead (do not place your ear / mouth near to the patient’s mouth)
  • 2) Anyone not participating in the CPR should remain at 2 metres away from the patient – you will still need help such as calling 999 and getting the closest AED
  • 3) When calling 999 state if you deem there to be a risk of covid19 with the patient
  • 4) Still continue to prioritise the AED if they are not breathing – do you know where your nearest one is??
  • 5) Before starting chest compressions cover their mouth and nose with a cloth
  • 6) Ideally don at least non-AGP PPE (level 2) – eye protection, gloves, disposable plastic apron and fluid resistant face mask BEFORE commencing chest compressions
  • 7) Ventilations should only be performed (even with equipment) if you are wearing AGP PPE (which also includes coverall/gown and FFP3 mask)

You can update your CPR skills and knowledge here:

You can update your vaccination knowledge (including CPR & anaphylaxis here):

This downloadable poster from The Resuscitation Council UK may also be useful:

Written by Jane Lambert (ECG, SEO & RGN), Thursday 02 July 2020

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