CPR in the Acute Hospital setting during the COVID-19 pandemic

Tutorial presented by Dr Richard Sweeney, Senior Respiratory and Medical Registrar

At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, it became apparent that Advanced Life Support algorithms posed an infection control risk to healthcare teams, and so a blanket approach to Advanced Life Support algorithms was advised by the Resuscitation Council UK. This included measures such as wearing AGP-PPE, and administering three stacked shocks before chest compressions.

Later in the pandemic, when testing was more readily available, Resuscitation Council UK advised a risk stratification for patients, into the following three categories:

This includes patients/individuals who are confirmed COVID-19 positive by a SARS-CoV-2 PCR test or are symptomatic and suspected to have COVID-19 (awaiting result).

This includes patients/individuals who are waiting for their SARSCoV-2 PCR test result and who have no symptoms of COVID-19 and individuals who are asymptomatic with COVID-19 contact/exposure identified.

This includes patients/individuals who have been triaged/tested (negative)/clinically assessed with no symptoms or known recent COVID-19 contact/exposure.

The more cautious approach to CPR (linked in the resources below) still applies to those in the medium and high risk patient groups.

The guidance for any patient in the low risk category was to use the standard pre-COVID algorithms and all healthcare staff attending resuscitation events should wear a minimum of a Type II fluid resistant surgical mask, eye protection, disposable gloves, and an apron.

Mark as Understood


Adult ALS for COVID-19 patients in an acute hospital – Algorithm

Adult ALS for COVID-19 patients in an acute hospital – Flow chart

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