Did You Know This About Covid 19 First Aid?

An image with the text covid-19 first aid and a cartoon man giving cpr behind medical icons.

Covid-19 has changed our everyday habits. We’ve gotten used to masking up, sanitizing hands, and checking in. How has Covid-19 changed first aid? For example, do we still give breaths when doing CPR?

We’ve written this article to give you an overview of what you might need to change.

So where do we start? 

A good first question is: Do I need to wear a mask in public? If we don’t need to wear masks, the Covid-19 task force recommends that we give first aid just like we normally would. This includes giving rescue breaths if we are trained and willing to do so.  

But, if we are required to wear a mask in public, the taskforce recommends some changes to first aid procedures. They are as follows:

Mask Wearing. You have to wear a mask while you give first aid assistance. Even if a person is unconscious and not breathing, they can still transmit Covid-19. Also, mask-wearing helps protect the patient from the potential of catching Covid from us. It would be a shame for someone in a critical condition to have to deal with Covid as well.

Breathing: When we check a patient’s breathing, normally we put our cheek close to their face and do what is called the “look, listen, and feel test.” During the pandemic, the taskforce recommends not to do this. What should we do instead? They recommend that we place a hand on a patient’s chest and look for the rise and fall of the chest to check for breathing. 

CPR : If a patient is not breathing, as per usual we commence CPR. Should we give rescue breaths? The taskforce recommends not to. They have advised to give only chest compressions. They also recommend that we can reduce the risk of transmitting disease by placing a light cloth or light clothing over the mouth of the patient.

The International Liaison Committee on Resuscitation (ILCOR) has given a recommendation that it is good practice to provide breaths to infants and children even during the pandemic.

It is important to remember that regardless of what we decide delaying CPR reduces the chance of a person surviving. So when facing an emergency, don’t spend so much time deciding how to handle the situation that you delay providing assistance.

Thanks for reading this article. Below are links to the articles this blog post was based on. 

Just as a reminder, Covid-19 information is always changing, so please keep up to date with current information from reliable sources.

Anzcor Guidelines



The National Covid-19 Clinical Evidence Taskforce


International Liason Council on Resuscitation


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