The risk of contracting infectious diseases is low when performing first aid or CPR. However, this does not mean that the risk does not exist. Not taking proper precautions when performing first aid can result in contraction of bloodborne bacterial and viral diseases. This is particularly important in the US where nearly a third of the population (or 110 million people) suffer from sexually transmitted diseases.  

Here we will inform about the risk of contracting infectious diseases when performing, CPR and the safety precautions that can be taken to prevent the risk.

The Risk of Contracting Diseases During CPR

Studies have found that there is a very low risk of contracting infectious diseases. One study had examined 200 articles published by researchers and found only a few instances where infectious agents were transmitted from the victim to the rescuer. There were very few cases of rescuers contracting HIV, hepatitis, or other infectious diseases when performing mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.

A study had found that the risk of getting HIV during a CPR is between one in a million and one in a billion. So, the fear of contracting a disease should not stop you from giving CPR during a medical emergency.

However, there are certain precautions that you should take to eliminate the risk of getting infected when performing CPR.

Preventive Measures to Avoid Risk of Infections

According to the Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention (CDC), Individuals should wear a mask with goggles when performing CPR on patients who are suspected of suffering from any infectious disease. Moreover, the CDS recommends that individuals who perform CPR on victims suffering from tuberculosis or SARS virus should wear N95 fit-tested respirator along with gloves, face/eye protection, and gown.

Also, to avoid the risk of infection, make sure that you don’t have chapped hands or other skin breaks through which bloodborne pathogens can enter your body. When providing mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, you should use eye, nose, or mouth protection to avoid contact with bodily fluids.

Other safety measures to avoid contracting infectious diseases include immunization, proper disposal of sharp objects, screening, and immediate treatment if required.

End Note

Taking measures outlined in this article can further reduce the already low risk of contracting infectious diseases during CPR. Individuals should use a face shield that completely covers the sides and front of the face to avoid contraction of a disease during CPR on individuals suspected of suffering from an infectious disease.

Make sure that you get a CPR certification from a reputable online company. The first aid and CPR training should cover everything from simple first aid skills and mouth-to-mouth resuscitation to bloodborne pathogens training. Immediate medical assistance will greatly increase the odds of a person surviving a cardiac arrest or other medical issues. Learning about the first aid and CPR skills will empower you to save lives of victims during a medical emergency.