AHA Recommendations during COVID-19

The American Heart Association (AHA) released new recommendations to employers last week regarding the extension of Provider level certification cards. Since many AHA Training Centers have suspended operations or drastically reduced the availability of classes due to COVID-19 concerns, the AHA is recommending that employers extend the expiration date for all certifications by 60 days.

This recommendation comes at a critical time – current Provider level certifications in Basic Life Support (BLS) and advanced level certifications including Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) and Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS) are required for most healthcare professionals to work. Many healthcare systems are stretched thin during COVID-19 operations and maintenance of these certifications should not disrupt a clinician’s ability to provide care during a disaster.

Hospitals and employers must choose whether to adopt the AHA recommendations or enforce their current policies on CPR expiration dates and risk losing healthcare staff to suspensions if they are unable to get into a class.

Training Recommendations

In a separate memo released by AHA on March 10, Training Centers are provided with recommendations on how to modify courses to limit infection risks.

These recommendations include:

  • Adhere to national, state, and local public health recommendations concerning closures and public gatherings.
  • Follow World Health Organization (WHO) recommendations for international travel, especially for affected regions.
  • Follow AHA recommendations for equipment decontamination.
  • Take additional precautions for classroom operations including:
    • Proper hand hygiene before and after class, breaks, eating snacks, and using restrooms.
    • Suspend the use of face shields and mouth to mouth rescue breathing during training.
    • Ensure participants are utilizing a pocket mask or barrier device and that it is not shared with other participants.
    • Use a bag-mask device during all two rescuer scenarios (no pocket mask use for these scenarios).
    • Utilize gloves during training exercises and skills practice.
    • Space manikins at least 3 feet apart to provide for recommended social distancing.

Code One is Here to Help

Code One continues to operate on a limited basis during the COVID-19 pandemic. While Code One’s classroom training schedule has been suspended, Online AHA training programs continue to be available for our clients to begin their training virtually and then come in for skills testing once it is safe to do so.

Code One’s administrative team is also supporting our Training Sites which continue to operate during this disaster by supplying them with the certification cards and equipment they need to function.

We encourage our communities to follow CDC and WHO recommendations for social distancing to slow the spread of COVID-19. We wish for the wellbeing and safety of all during this difficult time. We look forward to serving our customers once we have made it to the other side.

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