The AHA and COVID-19 guideline has a caveat that states in "suspected or confirmed COVID-19 cases" we should implement the prescribed practices. In the event that the patient in cardiac arrest is not confirmed or suspected to have COVID-19 symptoms is it reasonable to every to pre-pandemic practice of resuscitation?
The most recent Considerations for Paramedics Managing Patients During the COVID-19 Pandemic published October 19th and released in the SWORBHP region October 21, 2021. The biggest change is that the decision on whether or not to use the pre-pandemic practice is based on individual treating paramedic discretion.
Considerations on which practice to utilize would include history of recent URTI infection, vaccination status, known contact with COVID positive individuals, community factors (low case-count) etc. Please note that this is a non-exhaustive list and these are simply examples to portray the message.
The explanation in the memo is as follows:
The initial statement in the Directions for use of these Considerations section states that Paramedics may use these recommendations in all patients with respiratory symptoms or in cardiac arrest, regardless of COVID screening. As such, language has also been changed in some sections to Paramedics may. The intent of this wording is to allow you to use your clinical judgement as to whether or not to provide standard BLS/ALS PCS treatment or continue to utilize treatment as outlined within this Considerations Document. Either treatment options are deemed acceptable and will be decided upon by you as the attending Paramedic and you will have our support.