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COVID-19 Queries

Below you will find answers to a number of COVID-19 related questions recently posed to the BFFF.

The BFFF team are actively seeking information from both government and non-government sources to assist members with their queries and concerns so please bear with us whilst we attempt to get responses for you. Once available, questions and their responses will be uploaded into this area for all to view. Please ensure you check back regularly for any updates.

 

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Is there any updated guidance for first aiders in the workplace given the outbreak of C-19?

Is there any updated guidance for first aiders in the workplace given the outbreak of C-19?

If you have been trained in first aid you may be wondering how you can put your skills to use to support people in the work place and whilst at work. The simple answer is to carry on using the lifesaving skills you have been taught.
As you can imagine, during this difficult time there are less and less people who are comfortable to step forward and help others, mostly as they are concerned about physical contact. Hopefully, we can offer some reassurance and helpful tips on how to make it as safe as possible.
Explain how they can help themselves Most first aid is very simple and the steps to take in an emergency can be described or explained to an injured or ill person so they can help themselves. For example, if they are bleeding heavily, you can ask them to apply pressure to the wound with whatever they have available while you call 999.
If you do need to provide assistance to an individual who you are concerned may have an infection, wherever possible place the person in a location away from others. If there is no physically separate room, ask others who are not involved in providing assistance to stay at least 2 metres away from the individual. If barriers or screens are available, these may be used.
If someone is so badly injured or ill that they are unable to help themselves it is even more important we step in and try to help. For example, not helping someone who is not responsive or not breathing will dramatically
reduce their chance of survival but the risks to the first aider are very low especially if good hygiene practices are followed*.
Hygiene and first aid
It is important to remember first aid has always had to consider the risk of infection, not from coronavirus (Covid-19) but from other infections such as HIV, hepatitis and other viruses or infections which have the potential to do harm.
Normal hygiene measures are known to lessen the risk of infection and should be followed.
Wear gloves if easily available
Wearing gloves creates a barrier between you and the casualty. Even if you wear gloves it is still important to wash your hands after helping someone.
If gloves are not easily available, then treat the casualty as normal but be sure to wash your hands at the earliest opportunity- every second counts and delaying help to get gloves can have a detrimental effect on the outcome for your casualty.
Wash your hands after any contact with someone.
Following current government advice around handwashing is known to reduce the risk of infection. Wash your hands with soap and water for a minimum of 20 seconds or use hand sanitiser gel if water is not available.

Compression only CPR
As a precaution the Resuscitation Council UK have provided updated advice:
1. Check if they need CPR by looking for absence of signs of life and normal breathing.
Do not listen or feel for breathing by placing your ear and cheek close to the persons mouth. If you are unsure, assume they are absent.
2. Call 999 as soon as possible.
If a coronavirus infection is suspected, tell them when you call 999.
3. Give chest compressions: push firmly downwards in the middle of the chest and then release.
If you think there is a risk of infection, you should attempt compression only CPR and if available use an Automated External Defibrillator (AED). Continue until the ambulance arrives.
Wear a face mask, disposable gloves and eye protection if available. If you decide to perform rescue breaths on someone who is not breathing, use a resuscitation face shield where available
4. Wash your hands
After performing compression-only CPR, you should wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water; alcoholbased hand gel can be used if this isn’t available. You should also seek advice from the NHS 111 coronavirus
advice service.
If treating a baby or child, the importance of calling an ambulance and taking immediate action cannot be stressed highly enough.
It is likely that you will know them already and we accept that doing rescue breaths will increase the risk of transmitting the coronavirus, either to the rescuer or the child but the risk is small compared to the risk of taking
no action.