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Adult Basic Life Support during COVID-19

11 November 2020 - Crystal Smith

The National COVID-19 Clinical Evidence Taskforce has collaborated with the Infection Control Expert Group to develop new resuscitation guidelines that are regularly reviewed to reflect the best available evidence during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Their current guidelines reflect the risks associated with specific aspects of resuscitation, and have introduced a few changes to Basic Life Support (BLS) for adults. Changes pertaining to paediatric arrests have yet to be confirmed, as there is insufficient evidence to support compression only CPR in the paediatric population or other changes at this point in time. 

Any local public health recommendations should be considered in regards to the risk of community COVID-19 infections, as this will vary across Australia. 

The flowchart changes can be summarised as:

Links to the new guidelines can be found at: 

If you are due to update your basic or advanced life support skills, we offer a range of adult and paediatric workshops to meet your ongoing clinical practice development needs. Further details of our workshops can be found on our website:


Australian New Zealand Council on Resuscitation (ANZCOR). 2020. ARC Guidelines. (accessed 3/11/2020).

National COVID-19 Clinical Evidence Taskforce. 2020. Flowchart 6: CPR in Hospital. Version 1.0, October 2020 (accessed 3/11/2020).

National COVID-19 Clinical Evidence Taskforce. 2020. Flowchart 7: Preparedness for CPR. Version 1.0, October 2020 (accessed 3/11/2020).

Crystal Smith
Crystal Smith

Crystal Smith is a Senior Education Consultant for Critical Care Education Services (part of the Medcast Group). She has a clinical background in critical care, paediatrics and education.

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