ILCOR's revised Covid-19 defibrillation recommendation requires a new approach to training

Scand J Trauma Resusc Emerg Med. 2020 Nov 7;28(1):109. doi: 10.1186/s13049-020-00804-y.


In-hospital resuscitation practices have changed by necessity in the Covid-19 era, principally due to precautions intended to protect caregivers from infection. This has resulted in serious delays in resuscitation response.ILCOR has recently modified its guidelines to separate defibrillation from other interventions, recognizing that shock success is extremely time-dependent and that defibrillation poses relatively little risk of Covid-19 transmission. The new recommendation calls for sending one caregiver into the isolation room in order to initiate bedside monitoring and defibrillate if indicated, while the code team is donning their personal protective equipment. Implementing this change requires focused training in that specific role. This can be accomplished by intensively training a subset of clinical staff to assume the responsibility and act without hesitation when a code occurs.Focused defibrillation training promises to avoid compromising the care of patients experiencing tachyarrhythmic arrests in the setting of Covid-19. Such a training program might even result in better survival than before the pandemic for this subset of patients.

Keywords: Covid-19; Defibrillation; In-hospital cardiac arrest; In-hospital resuscitation; Training.

Publication types

  • Letter

MeSH terms

  • Betacoronavirus*
  • COVID-19
  • Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation*
  • Clinical Protocols
  • Coronavirus Infections / epidemiology
  • Coronavirus Infections / prevention & control*
  • Coronavirus Infections / transmission
  • Electric Countershock*
  • Humans
  • Pandemics / prevention & control*
  • Personal Protective Equipment
  • Pneumonia, Viral / epidemiology
  • Pneumonia, Viral / prevention & control*
  • Pneumonia, Viral / transmission
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic
  • Resuscitation*
  • SARS-CoV-2