Since the news of the COVID 19 pandemic grabbed the headlines, healthcare professionals and researchers have been on high alert. With their primary concern centered around preventing the spread of the virus and providing adequate healthcare for infected persons, significant developments have been recorded so far. From strict observance of social distancing orders, hand sanitization to regular use of face masks, there's no doubt that prevention is better than cure. Just when glimmers of hope begin to appear on the horizon with the introduction of covid-19 vaccines, there seems to be yet another wave of the pandemic approaching; the delta variant. SARS-CoV-2 Delta variant, otherwise known as lineage B.1.617.2, or Indian variant, was first detected in India in March 2020. It is a variant of family B.1.617 of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that is responsible for COVID-19.
Key characteristics of the Delta Variant
This new delta variant has led to a surge in COVID-19 cases worldwide as more people get hospitalized, and more deaths are recorded overtime. Being a new mutation of the virus, SARS-CoV-2 delta variant proves to be even deadlier than the parent virus and previous variants. Research into the delta COVID variant reveals the following:
1. It is more contagious
The COVID 19 delta variant is more than two times as contagious as the earlier virus strains. It replicates more quickly and produces more virus particles when compared to previous variants. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) described it as more transmissible than influenza and the common cold. They also regarded it as contagious as chickenpox in one of their documents. Based on CDC estimates, Delta variant was responsible for about 80% of new U.S. COVID-19 cases as of July end.
2. Vaccinated people can spread the virus
Besides being deadly to unvaccinated individuals, vaccinated persons can as well be infected by this variant. The Delta variant COVID 19 appears to generate the same high quantity of virus in fully vaccinated people as it does in unvaccinated individuals. This, in essence, implies that even vaccinated individuals can spread the delta variant COVID 19.
What to do as a health professional
All these behavioral characteristics of the covid-19 delta variant have raised many questions. Healthcare professionals, fitness teachers, children workers, nurses, and many others have asked, "how can we respond to this variant?"
Before answering this question, it is essential to have two basic things:
1. Get mental preparation
Being mentally prepared to provide medical healthcare, basic First-Aid treatment, and to enforce preventive measures is one of the most important things. A well-prepared mind tends to perform more effectively in the face of emergencies than an unprepared one.
Continuously stay updated about covid-19 delta variant news. Get enough rest to rejuvenate and become productive. Hold a positive mindset towards patients can help nurses and all health workers develop a healthy mental state.
Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is a collection of techniques designed to keep blood and oxygen circulating in the body. It includes processes such as chest compression that pump the heart to help deliver oxygen to the brain until adequate treatment approaches.
This professional treatment then stimulates the heart to begin functioning properly once again. Taking CPR classes will expose you to a wide range of techniques used by its professionals also, obtaining CPR certification will enable you to perform CPR on COVID 19 patients during an emergency while minimizing the risk of infection.
Handling Covid-19 Delta Variant as a CPR certified nurse
To answer how to respond to the delta variant as CPR nurses, here are some of the most effective ways you can respond during an emergency.
1. Avoid touching your face
It's normal to want to give CPR to patients who suddenly go unconscious, but there's a need to be extra careful. Such patients may have already become infected with the delta variant covid-19 without even realizing it. Avoid touching your face during or after coming in contact with a patient. As earlier explained, the delta variant virus spreads faster than the previous versions of covid-19 and can even infect you despite being vaccinated.
2. Look for signs of life in your patient
Look for signs of life or signs of breathing if a person goes unconscious- even in public spaces. Check to see if the patient's chest is rising and falling without physical contact. Check for a pulse. Avoid listening or feeling their breath by placing your ear or cheek close to the patient's mouth, this can expose you to the patients viral infections if perhaps they are infected. Whether you're wearing a face mask or not, avoiding physical contact unless when necessary is safer and can help protect you from the COVID 19 virus.
3. Call for medical support
While you're attending to the patient, call 911 and follow the dispatchers instructions. If you suspect that the patient is positive for the virus, notify them as quickly as possible. This will enable them to take the necessary precative measures and provide adequate emergency treatment.
4. Use AED pads
Using AED pads significantly boosts the person's chances of survival. It would be best if you used them as soon as possible for better results. Place the AED pads on your patient's chest and thereafter apply a shock if the AED prompts you. This procedure is a proven and safe one for both patients and responders.
5. Hands Only CPR
If you must make contact with the patient, do not attempt mouth-to-mouth rescue breaths. Perform chest compression-only and place a towel over the mouth and nose if possible.
This will reduce your risk of infection if perhaps you perceive that your patient has the delta variant. Continue carrying out the compression-only CPR as well as early defibrillation until help arrives.
As a healthcare provider, your safety comes first in any situation. This is why responding to any emergency requires specific protocols that ensure higher survivability for patients and protection for responders. In order to help maintain social distancing CPR Education Texas offers American Heart Association Blended BLS Healthcare Provider certification by appointment Monday-Thursday at: www.cpreducationtexas.com