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First Aid Provision during COVID-19

We are committed to complying with legal and moral duties to provide and maintain first aid provision throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. This must be achieved whilst maximising the safety of its employees, members of public and service users.

Managers should consider whether sufficient numbers of first aiders are in place and are available through their recovery planning and restarting of their services.

Guidance for First Aiders

First aiders should continue to refer to their relevant training when providing first aid and in line with the current first aid guidance, however, additional measures are required to reduce the risks and spread of the virus.

Try to assist at a safe distance from the casualty as much as you can and minimise the time you share within a breathing zone. If the casualty is capable, ask them to do things for you, but treating the casualty properly should be your first concern. Remember the 3P model - Preserve life, Prevent worsening, Promote recovery.

The following guidance has been adopted from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and should be adopted:

  • Call 999 immediately – tell the call handler if the patient has any COVID-19 symptoms
  • Ask for help. If a portable defibrillator is available, ask for it.
  • Before starting CPR, to minimise transmission risk, use a cloth or towel to cover the
    patient’s mouth and nose, while still permitting breathing to restart following
    successful resuscitation.
  • If available, use:
    • A fluid-repellent surgical mask
    • Disposable gloves
    • Eye protection
    • Apron or other suitable clothing
  • Only deliver CPR by chest compressions and use a defibrillator (if available) – DON’T
    do rescue breaths
  • If you suspect serious illness or injury call 999 immediately - tell the call handler if the patient has any COVID-19 symptoms
  • If giving first aid to someone, you should use the recommended equipment as listed
  • You should minimise the time you share in the breathing zone of the casualty and direct them to do things for you where possible.
  • Ensure you safely discard disposable items and clean reusable ones thoroughly
  • Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitiser as soon as possible

First aiders should ensure that a supply of the following PPE is placed in the first aid kit for use in an emergency:

  • 11R Fluid Repellent Surgical Masks;
  • Eye Protection (meeting the ‘splash protection standard in BSN 166);
  • Disposable Gloves;
  • Disposable Aprons.

A PPE request form should be completed for an initial supply and the items should be stored in or near the first aid kit.

If the items are used, a request should be made to replace them immediately.

If you hold a first aid certificate that expires on or after 16 March 2020 and cannot access re-qualification training because of Coronavirus, you may qualify for an extension.

HSE will review the extension period over the coming months.

Further information on first aid training can be requested by e-mailing CE Health and Safety.

If there are limited first aiders available, in low risk environments e.g. offices, the use of an appointed person will be sufficient to support and manage the contacting of emergency services where required.

Where this is the case, a 2 metre social distance can be maintained and PPE will not be required.

Page updated: 04/04/2022 13:38:42