Some Trusts and now insisting that patients who are in cardiac arrest and have a suspected diagnosis of Covid 19 will not be given Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) or ventilated in A&E unless the emergency department staff are wearing full personal protective equipment. This is to stop the risk of virus particles being released into the air and affecting staff attending them and other patients.

Full PPE in this case would be a FFP3 mask , full gown with long sleeves, gloves and eye protection.

Patients outside the emergency department in cardiac arrest can be given defibrillator treatment if they have a “shockable” rhythm but if this fails to restart the heart the staff are told further resuscitation is futile. It would be a fair assumption that patients in cardiac arrest caused by viral pneumonia would be likely not to survive, however, if they have not been tested or their test was negative and their arrest could be potentially reversible this new policy would be distressing.