AHA updated ACLS/BLS Algorithm for COVID-19

Updated ACLS/BLS guidance for COVID-19

The American Heart Association just recently published its “Interim Guidance for Basic and Advanced Life Support in Adults, Children, and Neonates With Suspected or Confirmed COVID-19” online in Circulation on April 9, 2020. Some of the changes are drastic, including prioritizing early intubation to protect staff. If you are a resuscitationist, review these recommendations, we have already implemented nearly all of these in our practice. A brief summary is included below:

  • Don airborne/droplet PPE before entering scene/room
  • Limit to only absolutely essential personnel in the room
  • Use mechanical CPR devices if available
  • Attach HEPA filters before ventilation
  • Intubate early with HEPA filter placement to minimize aerosolization
  • Pause chest compressions during intubations
  • Use video laryngoscopy instead of direct laryngoscopy
  • Use supraglottic airways if intubation is delayed, or a BVM with HEPA filter
  • Minimize circuit disconnects once intubated to reduce aerosolization
  • Weigh the risks-benefits when considering continuation of resuscitation

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