Management of adult cardiac arrest in the COVID-19 era. Interim guidelines from the Australasian College for Emergency Medicine

Main recommendations – Important considerations include the need to balance the appropriateness of resuscitation against the risk of infection, use of personal protective equipment (PPE), recognition that in a setting of low community transmission most cardiac arrests are still not due to COVID-19, and that early defibrillation saves lives. – Additionally, as COVID-19 increasingly affects hospital resource availability, the ethics of resource allocation must be considered. – Early defibrillation saves lives, and is not considered an aerosol generating procedure. – All other resuscitative procedures are considered aerosol generating, and require the use of airborne personal protective equipment (PPE). – Methods to reduce nosocomial transmission of COVID-19 include a physical barrier such as a towel / mask over the patient’s mouth and nose, appropriate use of PPE, minimising the staff involved in resuscitation, and use of mechanical chest compression devices when available.

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