Temporary omission of rescue breaths from training during current period of high transmission rates
HSE first aid at work update
The Resuscitation Council UK (RCUK) has stated that they are supportive of training providers who may wish to omit practical teaching and assessment of rescue breaths in first aid training while coronavirus transmission rates are very high.
RCUK are leaders in the field of CPR and HSE support their position on this for most First Aid at Work (EFAW) and Emergency First Aid at Work training courses.
This is a precautionary measure and providers who are satisfied that they are able to safely deliver practical teaching and assessment of rescue breaths may continue to do so.
Rescue breaths should continue to be practically demonstrated and assessed in training courses for Paediatric First Aid training (PFA), front-line emergency services or if the first aider is, for example, a lifeguard who may be expected to treat someone who is drowning.
If an FAW or EFAW training or requalification course does not include practical teaching of rescue breaths, employers should make sure that that the training includes:
- a practical demonstration by the trainer themselves and or a video demonstration of rescue breath techniques
- full training in the theory for giving rescue breaths
- assurance from the training provider that the student is competent to give rescue breaths, as far as can be expected without being assessed in practice
- assurance from the training provider that the student is as competent to give rescue breaths, as far as can be expected without being assessed in practice
HSE always strongly recommends that workplace first aiders undertake annual refresher training. If first aid training or requalification during the coronavirus outbreak has not included practical training and assessment for giving rescue breaths, employers should ensure that this is included in the next refresher course.
This guidance will be reviewed as transmission and infection rates improve.
Visit HSE website for more information and advice about first aid at work during the pandemic.