The most up to date information on our COVID-19 response
6 July 2020
Please note: The information below does not supersede advice from the government or your organisational protocol. The COVID-19 response continues to evolve, and our recommendations may change. Please consider this when reviewing the following statement.
As New Zealand moves down alert levels, more and more aspects of life are returning toward normal, including our approach to resuscitation and first aid training.
There is currently no evidence of community transmission of COVID-19 in New Zealand. It is important that learners and those that respond to cardiac arrest understand that providing early defibrillation and a combination of chest compressions and rescue breaths gives the best chance of survival to someone in cardiac arrest.
Healthcare and workplace settings vary considerably and it remains vital that local policy makers continually risk assess their setting and that protocols continue to comply with the local District Health Board, regional, and national infection control requirements and reflect the estimated risk.
The International Liaison Committee on Resuscitation (ILCOR) treatment recommendations for resuscitation during the COVID-19 pandemic seek to balance the potential risk of infection transmission to the rescuer against the harm to the patient if resuscitation is delayed or withheld. In most settings in New Zealand the risk to rescuers is currently extremely low and the balance strongly favours early intervention. It is wrong to treat all patients as if they may have COVID-19. It is important not to inappropriately delay or withhold resuscitation for patients in cardiac arrest if resuscitation is indicated. The level of potential risk to a rescuer may change should there be renewed evidence of regional patterns of disease transmission.
Over the coming months we anticipate there will be more studies to identify the immediate and long-term effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the healthcare sector, and also outcomes of Out of Hospital Cardiac Arrests (OHCA) during this period. There is a real risk that the COVID-19 pandemic could undo the substantial progress that has been made in optimising the community response to OHCA.
The NZ Resuscitation Council will continue to monitor the situation and update our recommendations on our website.
NZ Resuscitation Council
12 May 2020
Thank you to every New Zealander who has stayed home, stayed safe, and stopped the spread. Your efforts to reduce the impacts of COVID-19 on our community have been outstanding.
As the restrictions to mitigate the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic reduce in Alert Level 2, providers may consider the re-introduction of training courses. This includes NZ Resuscitation Council CORE and Newborn Life Support provider courses.
The NZ Resuscitation Council recommends providers complete a risk assessment for all courses, and that courses need to comply with the local health service, regional, and national infection control requirements. These are likely to include social distancing, cleaning or disinfection of equipment and premises and provisions to facilitate contact tracing. Training providers may need to consider class size and restrict classes and workshops to 10 people or less.
More information regarding the minimum hygiene requirements for training courses can be found here.
We’ve also previously made available, guidance information specific to the first aid training sector under COVID-19 Alert Level 2. This can be found here.
Over the coming weeks the NZ Resuscitation Council will be considering the reintroduction of CORE Advanced, NLS and Emergency Care instructor training programmes. We’ll make that information available once it comes to hand.
Please continue to work together and be kind to others.
12 May 2020
As the restrictions to mitigate the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic reduce in Alert Level 2, many NZ Resuscitation Council CORE instructors will be re-introducing provider courses. Course providers should complete a risk assessment for all courses and ensure they comply with their local health service, regional, and national infection control requirements. The NZ Resuscitation Council recognises the dilemma the COVID-19 pandemic poses to instructors and learners regarding learners demonstrating and being assessed on expired air ventilation. The NZ Resuscitation Council offers the following advice:
a) Good hygiene practice is important before, during and following provider courses to protect against all infections.
b) For the demonstration and assessment of adult and childhood collapse management we acknowledge that, even with disposable masks and good hygiene practices, a learner may feel uncomfortable demonstrating expired air ventilations into a manikin. This will be exaggerated by concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic.
c) In many cases of out-of-hospital collapse the person in cardiac arrest will be a loved one or known to the rescuer. In that situation the rescuer may be willing to give mouth-to-mouth breaths. This continues to give the best chance of survival, particularly for children. Those responding in an in-hospital setting will likely have access to airway and ventilation adjuncts.
d) As an interim measure, to gain NZ Resuscitation Council CORE Advanced or CORE Immediate certification, learners may simulate expired air ventilation when demonstrating and being assessed on adult and childhood collapse management. Learners should still demonstrate the correct sequencing of a DRSABC approach and correctly position the airway of the manikin at the time when ventilation would be given.
e) Demonstrating compressions is still a requirement. If a learner is unwilling or unable to demonstrate chest compressions a NZ Resuscitation Council Skills letter of attendance may be provided.
f) This flexibility remains in place until 1 October 2020 at which time it will be reviewed.
Specific questions may be addressed to firstname.lastname@example.org
3 April 2020
ANZCOR recognises that this a difficult time for the community and health care providers.
The underlying principles for CPR remain the same.
Any Attempt at Resuscitation is Better than No Attempt.
What has changed with this COVID-19 pandemic is the risk to rescuers.
Healthcare workers should be provided with appropriate PPE to perform their roles.
Many sudden cardiac arrests occur in the presence of family members, and many will be unrelated to COVID-19.
For lay rescuers who are unable or unwilling to do rescue breathing, compression only CPR is acceptable.
After any attempts at resuscitation, please adhere to current advice about hand washing, cleaning and decontamination.
NB There is currently an international review underway of resuscitation practices in the current pandemic. Guidelines will be continually updated. See https://costr.ilcor.org/document/covid-19-infection-risk-to-rescuers-from-patients-in-cardiac-arrest
26 March 2020
As New Zealand moves into alert level 4 – eliminate, I’m very mindful that any position that the Council takes at the moment must comply and be consistent with the emergency measures being applied by Central government.
It is vital that the capacity for the country to respond to the COVID-19 crisis is supported and urgent measures must be taken to ensure that health personnel and other members of the essential workforce are protected.
The recent statement released by the NZ Resuscitation Council included our recommendation that “the requirement for resuscitation training and re-certification be considered in the light of the current concerns.”
To clarify this point, there is no real science to guide the re-certification periods that are currently set and in light of the present situation, a recertification course would be considered routine and non-essential. For the meantime we suggest that those empowered to define certification periods urgently redefine them, by extending them, until we get a better understanding of what to do next.
Moving forward, innovative approaches to first aid and CPR teaching may need to be considered. This type of distance learning may be helpful to disseminate knowledge. We are concerned that any attempt to introduce unvalidated online psychomotor skill assessment is premature and may set a precedent for the future.
These are extraordinary times and our focus must be on the health and wellbeing of the people of New Zealand. We all need to work together and be kind to others.
24 March 2020
As New Zealand enters alert level 4 lockdown, the New Zealand Resuscitation Council office in Wellington is closed.
Our staff are continuing to work remotely. If you need to get in touch with us, you can do so through the regular channels. We will continue to post updates as and when information changes.
Our online shop will be shut as we are unable to fulfill online orders, unfortunately our website is down currently. Once our website is back up and running, we will close the shop function.
We are doing all we can to be socially responsible and urge you and your families to keep well and stay safe. None of us have ever experienced events so dramatic and lifechanging and we understand how challenging it will be for all moving forward.
Please work together and be kind to others.
20 March 2020
New Zealand’s priority continues to be slowing the spread of COVID-19, therefore, rapid changes have been introduced by the New Zeland government that significantly impact on travel, self-isolation and mass gatherings.
The New Zealand Resuscitation Council values instructor training but it is not essential and immediate to the needs of the community at this time. We do not think it would be responsible for groups of key, front-line healthcare and paramedic professionals to travel and gather together unnecessarily.
All NZ Resuscitation Council CORE Advanced, Newborn Life Support and Emergency Care Instructor Training is postponed until 30 July 2020. This decision is under regular review and we will notify you of any changes.
Those with existing bookings who will be impacted by this postponement will be contacted directly by our administration office with regard resheduling and refund options.
More information will follow regarding NZ Resuscitation Council instructor credentialling requirements for 2020.
19 March 2020
The NZ Resuscitation Council recommends that the teaching of routine first aid and resuscitation courses should be postponed until the current COVID-19 pandemic has abated and expert consensus opinion is that there is no longer an unnecessary risk involved in participating in a course.
The NZ Resuscitation Council recommends that the requirement for resuscitation training and re-certification be considered in the light of the current concerns.
The NZ Resuscitation Council will be regularly reviewing this recommendation.
More to follow.