As you will be aware, at the moment cases of the new coronavirus (COVID-19) are rare in the UK. However we felt that in light of recent media attention, in particular to yesterday’s coverage of preparations being made by the UK government, it is understandable that individuals might be concerned, especially when attending a first aid course where part of the assessment criteria is that they administer CPR (including rescue breaths) to a manikin.
In order to meet the current resuscitation council criteria, learners must demonstrate both effective chest compressions and rescue breaths, if these are not completed then the learners cannot be deemed competent and be issued a full first aid certificate.
Whilst we do not wish to add to any further concerns around the virus, we do want to reassure our clients that we have taken appropriate and proportionate pro-active steps to address any concerns and to minimise any possible risks of infection and to compliment the current guidance regarding simple hygiene measures which can be taken.
What we currently do
We currently follow industry good practice of using manikin wipes (with anti-microbial action to prevent cross infection) on a manikin after each learner (trainers encourage each learner to clean the manikin themselves before their CPR practice, for reassurance that this has been done) and at the end of a training session. Manikins are inspected and serviced regularly, including changing lungs and thorough cleaning.
Please be reassured that these methods are usually considered sufficient to reduce any risks of cross infection.
We also supply our trainers with a number of face shields to be used in certain circumstances, e.g. in the rare instance that a student has an allergy to the alcohol used in the wipes.
In addition to these existing measures and in line with current industry guidance, all of our trainers have been issued packs containing the following items:
- Nitrile, powder free gloves in a selection of medium and large sizes
- CPR manikin face shields with filter paper
- Antibacterial hand wash
Please note that we will not be issuing these as standard to students, however they will be available for those students that request the use of them on a course. Trainers will encourage students to observe good hygiene practices such as washing hands thoroughly.
Should there be any further changes to industry practice we will update our procedures accordingly.
Update: as of 12th March, in line with Resuscitation Council UK guidelines specific to reducing the risks in relation to COVID-19, all trainers will now instruct learners to use disinfectant wipes on all hand contact surfaces of the manikins (e.g. chin, forehead, chest). In addition, any learners exhibiting signs/symptoms of respiratory illness are to be excluded from training rooms.