As we all know, with the escalating situation of the coronavirus pandemic, it has brought the entire world into a standstill. Just for a refresher, the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is a highly contagious disease brought about by a newly uncovered virus. The disease causes illnesses in the respiratory system (such as the flu, pneumonia, bronchitis, etc.) with symptoms also associated with the aforementioned illnesses (e.g. cough, fever, tiredness, and in severe cases, difficulty in breathing).
As of writing this article, there is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease (COVID-19). But, there is a lot you can do to protect yourself and others from contacting the disease: by staying home as much as you can, by keeping a safe distance from others (preferably 1 meter or 3 feet away; this is called social distancing), by washing your hands often, by covering your coughs and sneezes, by calling ahead early if you are sick, by disseminating the message to others about prevention tips, etc.
Now, in trying times like this when there’s a highly contagious pandemic out there around the world, what do you do when a situation wherein cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is needed presented itself to you? Do you give CPR? Do you rush the patient to the hospital? Do you wait it out? The clock is ticking, and it could end in disastrous consequences if you let yourself be engulfed with panic in the moment.
Just in case, here are some ways and tips on what to do when that situation ever presents itself to you in these trying times:
1. Don’t panic
Panicking is a sudden pang of uncontrollable fear or anxiety that usually causes wildly unthinking and volatile behavior. It will not help at all in the situation if you start to panic, because you might do something you might regret later on. So, when you are presented with the situation, know better than to panic. Get yourself together and don’t lose your composure.
Clear your mind of any unnecessary thinking and get to making your move on the situation. Assess the situation carefully and also keep in mind the factors involved. Control your emotions and thinking before it controls you. Practice breathing in and out deeply to attain a calm sense of mind.
2. Assess the CPR administrator and the patient
During the situation, you will want to know about the one who will be giving the CPR and the one who will be receiving it in terms of their health; whether they may be COVID-19 positive, or they exhibit flu-like symptoms, or they are under investigation for the disease, etc. This is because you will really want to know about these so you can avoid any disastrous consequences such as contacting the disease yourself, or transmitting the disease to someone else. It will be better for everyone to prevent the disease from further spreading as the risk of transmission is really high.
3. After assessment, what do you do?
After the initial assessment of the situation, if you have ascertained that both the administrator and the patient is safe from all COVID-19 worries, you can continue to perform CPR. Do make sure that you are properly sanitized and that you do the procedure correctly and efficiently as so to minimize length of contact with the patient.
In the other hand, if you have ascertained that either one of you is sick or exhibits flu-like symptoms or is COVID-19 positive, then it is best to rush the patient to the hospital for the professionals to take care of it or have someone else licensed to do the job; and also, make sure that the one suspected of COVID-19 will be checked up.
4. If unsure, then just rush to the hospital
If you are unsure of what the health status of the patient or you are unsure of what to do, then just simply rush the patient to the hospital so the professionals can take care of it.
Hopefully, these tips will help you whenever there is a situation presented that calls for CPR.