Can I Safely Deliver First Aid in a COVID-19 era?

First Aid in COVID

Article By: Claudia Guarnaccia

Yes, you can!

The Michael Hughes Foundation (MHF) is conscious that we are not in a ‘Post COVID-19’ era but more living ‘With COVID-19’. As we have been adjusting and pivoting to the most up to date recommendations and practices, such as social distancing, it’s often asked of us ‘what does this mean in terms of delivering basic first aid?’

Like everyone else, we have had to make necessary alterations to the traditional delivery of first aid and our recommendations to clients, course participants, and the broader community.

In relation to individuals and organisations providing first aid, the number one rule is to always remember to protect yourself. When treating an individual, it is paramount hand hygiene is maintained, such as the use of gloves and hand sanitisation, ensuring protection for all.

There has been much discussion surrounding the use of masks, which has been heightened as Victoria has now made it mandatory. At MHF, we too believe in the use of masks to protect against the spread of COVID-19. We encourage all to purchase P2/N95 face masks (or similarly recommended by health professionals). When performing first aid, it is vital both the patient and responder wear a face mask given they are in close contact with each other. It is strongly urged not to begin any form of treatment if neither have a face mask on, again reiterating personal safety is of the utmost importance.

In a cardiac arrest event and when CPR is required (ie person is unconscious and not breathing) we recommend:

  • Hands only chest compressions (no rescue breaths)
  • Compressions to 1/3 the depth of the chest
  • A compression speed of 100-120 compressions per minute

The above recommendations apply to babies, children (1-8 years) and adults. Defibrillators, if available, are encouraged to be used to support CPR and to attempt to restart the heart.

In serious medical emergencies, we advocate that you do your best and provide aid where it is needed. Although care should also be taken and your personal protection and safety is paramount, we still encourage people to act. We always advocate that any effort is better than no effort all.

MHF Social Media Content – 21st March 2020

In regards to our delivery of first aid training courses, and with a few simple changes, we are continuing to safely provide in-depth in person training and education on first aid “with” COVID-19. Previously courses focussed on infection control practices, but with the new landscape, the what and how of our training has been further enhanced.

All our accredited first aid courses comply with COVID-19 standards, including hygiene and cleanliness, social distancing, amendments to practical assessments and review of participants for their health and wellbeing. Further, our trainers have completed courses accredited by NSW Health and Australian Government in the COVID-19 period.

To book a first aid course or seek additional first aid assistance from the Michael Hughes Foundation, based on the most current health advice, visit our website:

Useful Links:

NSW Health

Australian Resuscitation Council

Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA)

The Whittley Club of NSW Inc obtained a defibrillator through NSW Office of Sport grant program.  The assistance I received from Julie and the organisation was fantastic!  MHF helped guide me through the necessary paperwork and provided our members with thorough training in the use of the equipment.

- Narelle Baglin, Treasurer, Whittley Club NSW Inc.

Our CPR refresher course was great, and Kevin is just awesome! I don’t think we would want anyone else but Kevin from now on, we feel spoilt!

- Baber Rasheed, Community First Step, Fairfield

I just completed my HLTAID003 Provide First Aid course. It was the best first aid training I have ever done. Charnan is a fantastic trainer with such a wealth of experience.

- Karen Hope, General Manager People, Culture and Youth Programs, PCYC NSW

Since 2016, Stellar Learning has used Michael Hughes Foundation for all our first aid training. Our trainer Kevin is amazing… Not only does he do First Aid courses, he is a paramedic and very hands on. Kevin explains things in an easy manner and helps everyone throughout the course. I would recommend him and the Foundation to any business wanting to host a first aid course.

- Liv Taylor, Stellar Learning Group

Thank you MHF! Your first aid and CPR training were fantastic. We love your presenters because they always make the training so interesting for our staff by sharing real life knowledge and experience. Keep up the great work.

- Michelle Hanley, Risk Manager & State Member Protection Officer, Football NSW

The impact on each parent that has attended this course is immeasurable. The participants now have the skills to be able to stay calm and administer First Aid if faced with an emergency. This training has also enabled the participants to update skills for work or to help secure employment.

- Catherine Gregory, Hilltop Road Public School
© 2021 Michael Hughes Foundation.

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