Can You Catch a Disease from Performing CPR? Essential Facts for School Staff and Teachers

When it comes to CPR, the lifesaving procedure, many school staff and teachers have concerns about disease transmission. This apprehension often prevents individuals from becoming involved in emergency situations. Today, we’ll address these concerns and provide essential tips to protect yourself while performing CPR.

Does Disease Really Spread through Mouth-to-Mouth Contact?

The fear of disease transmission through mouth-to-mouth contact isn’t new. Back in the 80s, concerns about HIV and other STDs led to widespread caution regarding CPR. However, scientific evidence does not support the theory that mouth-to-mouth CPR significantly spreads diseases like Hepatitis C.

In recent times, the COVID-19 pandemic has renewed these concerns. While there’s no specific data on COVID-19 transmission through CPR, the close contact involved in chest compressions and first aid could potentially create a risk. It’s essential to understand how to mitigate these risks while providing lifesaving care.

Protecting Yourself During CPR

1. Know the Patient’s Medical History: If you’re performing CPR on someone you know, you’re likely familiar with their medical history and potential risks. However, in emergencies involving strangers, this isn’t always possible.

2. Use Personal Protective Equipment (PPE): Wearing a face shield with a one-way valve and gloves can significantly reduce the risk of disease transmission. These barriers protect against bacteria and viruses, ensuring your safety.

3. Hands-Only CPR: For those uncomfortable with giving breaths, hands-only CPR is an effective alternative. Current guidelines emphasize the importance of continuous chest compressions to circulate oxygenated blood, even without rescue breaths.

4. Get Vaccinated: Vaccinations can provide additional protection against viruses like COVID-19, further reducing your risk during CPR.

Assessing the Threat

So, can you catch a disease from mouth-to-mouth contact during CPR? While the short answer is yes, the likelihood is low, especially when proper precautions are taken. Always protect yourself by using PPE and practicing hands-only CPR if you’re untrained or uncomfortable with mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.

It’s important to stay informed and cautious. If you have any open wounds or sores, be extra vigilant. And remember, if in doubt, seek medical advice after performing CPR.


Free Online CPR Training with Capt. Wayne Bennett

To ensure you’re fully prepared to save lives safely, consider enrolling in our Free Online CPR Training. Led by Capt. Wayne Bennett, this course offers comprehensive CPR, AED, and First Aid training aligned with the latest scientific guidelines. Best of all, it’s free – you only pay $29.95 for your national certificate, valid for two years.

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