CLINICAL UPDATE: COVID-19 PHE Guidance on Chest Compressions and Defibrillation

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Clinical Update from Dr. Tom Davis, Medical Director.

Many of you will have been following closely the on-going discussions in relation to chest compressions and whether they are considered an AGP or not.

As a Trust we have been consistent and taken our direction from PHE and NHSE, sharing this information and guidance with you on a regular basis. 

Yesterday further guidance was published by PHE

This is expert guidance issued by PHE and is based on an evidence review and consensus statement issued by the ‘New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group’ (NERVTAG). The conclusion is that chest compressions will not be added to the list of AGPs.

The PHE guidance goes on to say that first responders (any setting) can commence chest compressions and defibrillation without the need for AGP (level 3) PPE, while awaiting the arrival of other responders to undertake airway manoeuvres. It adds that healthcare organisations may choose to advise their clinical staff to wear FFP3 respirators, gowns, eye protection and gloves when performing chest compressions but it is strongly advised that there is no potential delay in delivering this life saving intervention.

The full clinical update from Dr. Tom Davis includes further detail on the recent updated guidance from PHE and can be downloaded below. 

Published 25th April 2020

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