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Lifeguards To Adopt To New Protocols; No More Mouth To Mouth Resuscitation In View of Covid

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Drishti Marine – Goa’s lifeguarding agency operating along the entire length of Goa’s coasts has come up with a new life-saving technique – one that keeps in mind safety concerns around the coronavirus infection. 

The whole idea of lifeguarding around beaches actually makes it impossible for the lifeguards to avoid close contact while rescuing victims. The job itself calls for close contact around victims at times of rescues, while also employing mouth-to-mouth rescue for unconscious victims. The later however is set to be replaced, as Drishti has come with a new set of techniques that will be employed by its lifeguards along all of Goa’s beaches. 

Drishti Marine said that its lifeguards will not perform a mouth to mouth respiration method of a revival any longer. Now, they will instead use a bag valve mask, a self-inflating resuscitation device along with cardiopulmonary resuscitation if necessary, to try and recuperate a patient who has lost consciousness on account of drowning at sea. 

Previously, lifeguards would use methods that would clear the airways to avoid sand choking and then commence CPR through compressions. They also would use a Bag Valve Mask (BVM), only if mouth-to-mouth resuscitation could not be continued.

Ravi Shankar, Head operations of Drishti Marine said, “The new Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) protocol has changed. Globally, hands-only CPR is recommended which includes compression of the chest, but no rescue breaths. In more advanced cases too, it’s a direct shift from the regular mouth-to-mouth resuscitation to the use of a Bag Valve Mask (BVM). This can reduce infections or diseases being transmitted in the process between victim and rescuer.”

Drishti Marine, which has a fleet of nearly 400 lifeguards, has already conducted training to educate the personnel on covid-19, and all the do’s and don’ts have been conveyed. The agency has nearly 35 lifeguard towers across Goa’s coastline. 

Rescuing persons from the sea, either through drowning or for cases of attempted suicide makes it impossible for actual physical distance to be maintained by the lifeguards. Considering the mammoth task, lifeguards will be looking into all safety measures that can be upheld. 

Mask will be compulsorily used by lifeguards onshore, however, if they need to hurry in for a rescue, they will have to take them off. 

Besides cases of drowning, Drishti also claimed that they have managed to prevent several cases of attempted suicide. According to a report, this year there have been at least seven cases reported of persons attempting to commit suicide by drowning, six within the period of June to August itself. 

Over the last few weeks, Goa has been witnessing tourist’s arrival due to the opening up of domestic tourism, along with easing of restriction at borders. The beaches have been dominated by domestic tourists, along with many locals, and as such, it was only time that Goa’s lifeguards were up to standards with the latest safety procedures in view of the coronavirus pandemic. 

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