Interim guidance for pediatric resuscitation care to reduce COVID-19 transmission

The American Heart Association, the world’s leading nonprofit organization focused on heart and brain health for all, and the American Academy of Pediatrics, the leading voice for pediatric health, have released interim guidance for resuscitation care intended specifically for pediatric patients with known or suspected COVID-19. This guidance is aimed at reducing the risk for SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) transmission.

“The American Heart Association understands the difficulty in caring for pediatric patients during this challenging time, especially when resuscitation is needed,” said Comilla Sasson, MD, Ph.D., FAHA, FACEP, a practicing emergency room physician and vice-president for emergency cardiovascular care science and innovation at the American Heart Association. “Together with the American Academy of Pediatrics, we are doing everything we can to make it easier by offering guidance to minimize the spread of COVID-19.”

“As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact more communities in the U.S., it’s important for all caregivers and first responders to understand how to provide critical care to infants, children and adolescents in the safest way possible,” said Susan Fuchs, MD, FAAP, a practicing pediatric emergency physician and co-editor of the Pediatric Education for Prehospital Providers (PEPP) 4th Edition textbook.

The information is drawn primarily from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and World Health Organization recommendations. Specific guidance around caring for pediatric patients with known or suspected COVID-19 is provided for aerosol-generating procedures (e.g., CPR, endotracheal intubation, non-invasive ventilation), personal protective equipment, and airway management and use of noninvasive ventilation. Additional guidance is offered for emergency medical dispatchers, pre-arrival notification, EMS clinician practices modifications including personal protective equipment, aerosol-generating procedures and risk of disease transmission, and transport considerations.

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