UPDATE: AHA Recommendations during COVID-19 Pandemic

Today the American Heart Association (AHA) released additional guidance for certification expiration dates for employers to take under consideration. We reported the original guidance last week on our blog.

The new recommendation is for employers to extend all Provider certifications (Heartsaver, BLS, ACLS, and PALS) by 120 days. Providers who were expiring in March 2020 are the first group affected by this change.

This guidance provides healthcare workers with an unobstructed ability to provide patient care during the pandemic. It also alleviates pressure for Training Centers to provide certification training during this high-risk time when social distancing is key to reduce viral spread.

The updated guidance memo is located on the American Heart Association website.

CPR for COVID-19 Patients

The AHA also released Interim Guidance for Healthcare Providers during COVID-19 which echos much of the guidance already in place from the CDC and WHO.

The primary focus is on provider safety, specifically in regards to using proper Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and limiting aerosol generating procedures whenever possible.

From a safety perspective, Code One recommends the use of hands-only CPR (compressions without breaths) while using appropriate PPE whenever a bag-mask device is not present. Use of rescue breathing with a pocket mask, face shield, or mouth-to-mouth breathing should be avoided due to heightened risks of virus transmission during this global pandemic.

6 thoughts on “UPDATE: AHA Recommendations during COVID-19 Pandemic”

  1. Marianne Jacobs

    My BLS for Healthcare Providers and Professional Rescuers expired 3-9-20 and because of the Corona virus I haven’t been able to renew it. My 120 day reprieve is about to expire so how can I renew my CPR?
    I am a retired dental hygienist but wish to maintain my license which needs to be renewed in July.

    1. Hi Marianne,

      The Heartcode BLS with a contactless skill session is the easiest pathway. The program can be used for initial entry or recertification so the date of your old certification doesn’t matter if you go this route. Here is more info: https://code1web.com/heartcode-bls

      1. Yes because of the COVID-19 restrictions I am a nurse and I need a BLS renewal my card expired November at the end, and because due to working overtime I cannot seem to get into a class just yet. Are they still using the 120 days extension so that I can recertify my BLS CPR card

        1. Hi Elaine, All of the extensions from COVID have expired, however, our BEACON program allows you to renew on a flexible schedule. In this program you would complete a portion of the training online and then come to our center for a brief skills appointment. The skills component takes about 30 minutes and we offer the appointments daily between 8am and 8pm. You can register through our website for the BEACON BLS course and attend your skills at any Code One location. Here is the link: https://code1web.com/beacon-bls

  2. Zachariah Greggs

    I live in Cleburne , Texas 76033. I am due to reinstate my servsafe certification, During this pandemic how is that to be done? Thank you

    1. Great question – the Servsafe program still requires the exam be conducted by a proctor so you would need to report to a local testing center to get the exam done. There is an online self-study course which will help limit the amount of time you need to appear in person.

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