July 18, 2020
“We are concerned,” says Goodloe, who also serves on the board of the American College of Emergency Physicians. “We want to maintain — even grow — the levels of bystander CPR. We do not want covid-19 to negatively impact the willingness of people to provide CPR. If it does, we will assuredly lose savable lives.”
As scientists continue to study the virus that causes covid-19, emergency medicine specialists agree that there is more to learn. But current evidence suggests the transmission danger to rescuers of delivering CPR or responding to choking remains low, including for those whose protective gear may not go beyond that of a face mask.
“I think there are unanswered questions, but we don’t get the opportunity to take a time out,” Goodloe says. “Each and every day, over 1,000 Americans are dying from sudden cardiac arrest, most outside the hospital. We have to provide the best care possible as we seek answers to questions that have arisen as a result of this pandemic.”
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