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.