Experts have accused Public Health England of putting NHS staff at risk because of its “continued insistence” they do not need respirator masks when carrying out chest compressions to resuscitate coronaviruspatients.
The Resuscitation Council UK, which sets standards for CPR in the UK, has issued its own conflicting advice to PHE stating the evidence suggests there is a risk.
Some NHS trusts have followed the Resus UK’s advice, while others have advised their clinical staff to follow the advice of PHE.
Dr James Haddock, from the Doctors’ Association UK said: “We support the Resuscitation Council UK’s stance, which is based on the best available international evidence and standards, that CPR is an aerosol generating procedure.
“Therefore, all NHS staff giving CPR must be wearing the appropriate personal protective equipment. We are concerned that Public Health England’s advice is deviating from international consensus.
“It’s decision to ignore international experts and previous guidance from its own advisory body (NERVTAG) sows unnecessary confusion and fear.”
A spokesperson for Public Health England said: “NERVTAG is currently reviewing the evidence for a number of different medical procedures and their risk of transmission. PHE awaits the NERVTAG review and the committee’s recommendations.”