First Aid Considerations for First Aid in the COVID-19 workplace
First Aid response COVID-19 considerations:
Everyone should treat themselves as a possible path for sharing the virus and should consider other people as a possible risk too. Protecting yourself or the ill/injured person can be done by good hand hygiene, wearing masks, or better yet, working from a reasonable distance.
The ill/ injured person can also be source for first aid. For example, they could put direct pressure on their bleeding injury, cool their burn, or take their own temperature, allowing the first aid responder to stay 2 meters apart in many situations. Other people who are less at risk or already exposed to the ill/injured person and can also be given directions by the first aid responder.
Assessing breathing can be done from a distance by asking them a question, and observing chest rise/fall, both which avoid being exposed to their exhalations.
If there are no signs of life or regular breathing, compression only CPR is reasonable. Ideally breaths are administered with the use of a mask with one-way valve or bag-valve-mask device. Example: Laerdal Pocket Mask with Valve and Filter from Amazon for £12.84 better than a face shield because of the oneway valve.
If the person is breathing, place a cloth mask on the person while you assess or treat them if it doesn’t make breathing more difficult for injured/ ill person to protect yourself from their exhalations.
Any life-threats found should be addressed in this stage along with notifying emergency services.
A detailed or focused assessment follows life-threatening issues are dealt with and includes a head-to-toe physical check and an interview of the person to identify all first aid issues which can give more background to advanced care.
The following are factors to consider if a person is exhibiting signs of COVID-19
A person who is sweaty
Age over 50 depending on underlying health conditions like heart/ lung disease,
diabetes, or is immunocompromised
Asking if the person might have taken anything specific to COVID-19 to prevent it or help could also identify potential poisoning situations.
People with significant medical history should be considered at risk, these might include recent surgeries, cancer treatment, or diabetes.
This information is very valuable to the call taker at emergency services or a tele-health provider to help you make the best decisions on where to go for advanced care.