New guidance from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has been introduced to help ensure the safety of first aiders and their patients, from using additional Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and changes in guidance surrounding rescue breaths.
Review your club’s first aid needs assessment:
You’ll know your club/venue’s first aid needs best and you should start by talking to your venue manager and your designated first aiders. It may be necessary to refresh training (where applicable). Review your equipment an ensure that you have what you need to help treat casualties on your site, as well as what you may need to consider to minimise the risk of infection transmission.
Implement guidance for first aiders:
The 3P model is crucial when treating a patient; preserve life, prevent worsening and promote recovery.
Social distancing is now key in reducing the rate of transmission and this should also be followed when treating a casualty (where applicable) however, treating the casualty properly should be your main concern.
If you can, try to assist at a safe distance from the casualty to minimise the time sharing the same breathing zone.
Where possible, ask the casualty to do things for you, such as bandaging or elevating a limb to reduce swelling – ensuring you maintain a safe distance.
When preserving life, one of the most notable changes to the HSE guidance includes changes to the way in which CPR is administered.
These include; using a covering such as a cloth or a towel to cover the casualty’s mouth and nose before starting CPR and, where possible, to use the following pieces of PPE to reduce the transmission of potential virus particles:
You must not give rescue breaths and should instead focus on chest compressions only.
When preventing the casualty from getting worse, you should call 999 immediately if you suspect a serious illness of injury. It’s important to tell the call handler if you suspect the patient has any symptoms of Covid-19.
Remember to use PPE when treating the patient and minimise the time you share a breathing zone where possible.
After delivering first aid, all items should be disposed of or cleaned thoroughly as appropriate. First aiders should wash their hands for a minimum of 20 seconds with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitiser (minimum 60% alcohol content) as soon as possible after aiding of the patient has ceased.
Please note: Guidance is being updated regularly and you should always check HSE advice on this topic: https://www.hse.gov.uk/coronavirus/first-aid-and-medicals/first-aid-certificate-coronavirus.htm
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