As the world is in the grip of Coronavirus, we know what you are thinking. Believe us we have every sympathy for you and share the same thoughts. This article is here to provide an assurance to all our candidates and customers of the precautions we are embracing during the delivery of the first aid courses. It goes without saying we all need to take extra precautions to minimise the risk to us.
The Public Health England confirmed on 9 March 2020, 254 people have been confirmed as positive for the Coronavirus (COVID-19). Select the link to view further updates via the Public Health England website https://bit.ly/2TDaNDr.
The UK Resuscitation Council has issued guidelines in relation to rescue breaths and manikin hygiene during first aid courses. We’d like to assure you the practice to minimise contagious viruses is strictly observed, hopefully offering all those who are attending first aid courses the peace of mind. Here are the issued guidelines from the UK Resuscitation Council https://bit.ly/2Q2MeO9
With all the coverage and constant updates no doubt, the majority of us now know what is a Coronavirus (Covid-19)? Avoiding the unnecessary details about the virus, in brief, a Coronavirus is a type of virus. AKA COVID-19 is a new strain of Coronavirus first identified in Wuhan City, China in January 2020. If one is suspected of contracting the virus the incubation period is between 2 and 14 days. If an individual is well coming into contact with a person with confirmed Coronavirus after 14 days, it is unlikely they have been infected.
Anyone suspected of contracting the virus, symptoms of cough, fever or difficulty in breathing may be experienced in the 14 days after exposure to someone who has COVID-19 infection. Generally, these infections can cause more severe symptoms in people with weakened immune systems, older people, and those with long-term conditions like diabetes, cancer, and chronic lung disease. There is no evidence that children are more affected than other age groups, although, few cases have been reported.
How is the virus spread?
COVID-19 is most likely contracted when an individual is in close contact (within 2 meters) with an infected person. The longer an individual is in close contact the likely risk of contracting the virus grows. Droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes are the most likely to be the prevalent way to transmit the virus. Secretions can be directly transferred into the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or could be inhaled. It is also possible that someone may become infected by touching a contaminated surface or object and then touching their own mouth, nose, or eyes.
Taking precautions and minimising the spread
As the evidence suggests the spread is highly likely when an individual is in close proximity with someone who is infected. It is important to take necessary precautions and minimise the risk as far as possible. We are committed to providing our customers and candidates with the qualifications needed for their workplace requirements and their development. First aid is an important skill and is a requirement for most places of work.
Closely monitoring the government’s advice we are operating as per usual. It is advisable anyone who has recently returned from countries specified by the UK government, avoid attending a first aid course. In the interest of the other candidates and staff members at First Aid Safety, anyone showing signs of a cold, cough or flu will be advised to postpone their attendance. The government advice about the virus is now included in our course instructions for the candidates.
Minimising the risk of infection across our first aid courses has always a priority. All instructors are equipped with sanitising materials. To assure all candidates and customers our instructors will have:
Alcohol/non-alcohol wipes to clean equipment
Candidates are advised to wash their hands at regular intervals
Issue information on manikin hygiene such as replacement of lungs/airways and sanitising the manikin faces. Manikins are sanitised between each candidate.
Issuing resus face-shields to each candidate on first aid courses upon request
Having reduced the risk of a candidate who may be at risk of carrying COVID-19 attending your course, the important thing to do is to maintain a higher standard of infection control. The wellbeing of our candidates is our main priority. We are committed to ensuring the candidates can continue to access their chosen qualification with minimal disruption. We will continue to monitor the hygiene policies in line with the Resuscitation Council UK and Public Health England.
"All practical assessments for first aid courses will continue to assess rescue breaths"
What to do if an employee or a member of the public becomes unwell?
If the individual has not been to specified areas in the last 14 days, then the normal practice should continue. If someone becomes unwell in the workplace and has travelled to China or other affected countries, the unwell person will be advised to keep away at least 2 meters from other people. If possible find a room or area where they can be isolated behind a closed door, such as a staff office. If it is possible to open a window, do so for ventilation.
An individual who is unwell should call NHS 111 from their mobile, or 999 if an emergency (if they are seriously ill or injured or their life is at risk) and inform the emergency service the country they have returned from in the last 14 days and detail their current symptoms.
Whilst the candidate waits for further advice from NHS 111 or an ambulance to arrive, they should remain at least 2 meters away and avoid touching other people, surfaces and objects. Use disposable tissues to cover their mouths and nose and discard the tissues responsibly.
There are two categories of countries, this information is being updated daily.
Category 1: Travellers should self-isolate, even if asymptomatic, and call NHS 111 to inform of recent travel.
Wuhan city and Hubei Province
Daegu or Cheongdo
Any Italian town under containment measures
Terranova dei Passerini
Category 2: Travellers do not need to undertake any special measures, but if they develop symptoms they should self-isolate and call NHS 111.
Republic of Korea
The guidance for Italy, Iran, Daegu or Cheongdo (Republic of Korea), Laos, Myanmar, Cambodia, and Vietnam applies to individuals who returned from these specific areas on or after 19 February 2020.
We sincerely hope this article has to a degree offered assurances of our practices to minimise the risk to us all, especially during our first aid courses.
Here at First Aid Safety, we have been offering Lifesaving First Aid Training Courses Since 2012. If you have any remaining doubts or concerns please contact us on 020 7112 8543 or via webchat on our website.