COVID-19: Guidelines for rescue breaths

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Updated guidance has been issued for Basic Life Support adjustments that were recommended earlier in the COVID-19 pandemic.

In December 2021, the National COVID-19 Clinical Evidence Taskforce (NCCET) published its updated guidance regarding rescue breathing for drowning victims after clarification was sought by the Royal Life Saving Society – Australia (RLSSA) and the National Aquatic Industry Committee.

updated Basic Life Support guidelinesPrevious guidance had recommended compression-only CPR. The current recommendation from the NCCET is that rescue breaths should be provided to all children and to any drowning casualty. It is also recommended that a bag valve mask be used if available and the rescuer is trained in its use.

RLSSA CEO Justin Scarr has welcomed the updated guidance, saying it provides greater clarity for rescuers throughout the aquatic industry and that it “acknowledges that rescue breaths are critical in saving lives for drowning casualties and children who require basic life support.”

The NCCET brings together peak health professional bodies whose members provide clinical care to people with COVID-19, utilising their considerable expertise to ensure first responders have access to a single source of advice about critical aspects of COVID-19 care.

The updated Basic Life Support guidelines flowchart can be downloaded at the link below.

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