ABCs of COVID-19: Airway control, CPR, Basic/Advanced Cardiac Life Support with special regard to COVID-19 spread

It is well established that a substantial portion of patients with COVID-19 deteriorate, become critically ill and die eventually. Airway interventions are the ‘A’ of the alphabet of all resuscitative procedures, which can save the lives of the victims of COVID-19 and many other life-threatening emergencies. On the other hand, resuscitative procedures pose the greatest risk for disease transmission. Unlike many other personnel, one of the most important problems healthcare worker (HCW) face in CPR / ACLS is being unaware of the given patient’s infection status or contagiousness related to COVID-19. Aerosolization is triggered primarily by procedures including CPR, laryngoscopy, endotracheal intubation (ETI), ventilation management, and other advanced interventions. The use of personal protective equipment (PPE) is vital in all procedures and interactions with patients in pandemic period. For example, If ETI and ventilation is performed with a closed circuit, the risk of transmission is very low if a ventilator with high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter is used. Mouth-to-mouth breathing is being abandoned in this pandemic era. The aim of this chapter is to highlight the indications and drawbacks of these maneuvers in the pandemic era, together with necessary protective measures for HCW.