Course II: BLS and ACLS – Quick Overview
Cardiopulmonary arrest or cardiac arrest occurs when the heart stops beating and blood circulation is terminated due to abnormalities of the heart. There are two approaches of resuscitation of a person in cardiac arrest; BLS and if needed the ACLS approach.
Basic life support is the initial response to a cardiac arrest and focuses on CPR and defibrillation. Advanced IV administration of drugs or advanced airway is not needed in BLS survey.
BLS has these components: Chest compressions (C), Airway (A), Breathing (B) and Defibrillation (D). The goal of BLS is to reinstate circulation, oxygenation and ventilation by focusing on CPR and defibrillation until the return of spontaneous circulation (ROSC). Before starting CPR, first always check if the scene is safe.
|1||Check for response|
|2||Activate the emergency response system and get AED|
The following is the Basic Life Support Algorithm:
Once the BLS primary survey is conducted the patient is then moved to the next level of care which is the ACLS. Advanced Cardiac Life Support is used after ineffective BLS or if there is a conscious patient who needs advance medical attention. The main goal of ACLS is to provide a more invasive procedure, advance assessment, proper management techniques, and differential diagnosis for the overall health of the patient.
|In an unconscious patient us the following to sustain airway patency:|
If needed use the following advanced airway management:
To minimize interruptions of CPR and ventilation, insert airway quickly
Ensure the device is stabilized
Use quantitative waveform capnography to
Ensure monitor is placed correctly
|Give supplementary oxygen when needed:|
|Monitor quality CPR|
Attach monitor/defibrillator for arrhythmias or cardiac arrest rhythms
Get IV/IO access
Administer appropriate drugs
Provide IV/IO fluids if needed
|Look for and treat any reversible issues|
Remember the H’s & T’s
Hypovolemia, Hypoxia, Hydrogen ion (acidosis), Hyper/hypokalemia, Hypothermia
Toxins, Tamponade (cardiac), Tension pneumothorax, Thrombosis (coronary or pulmonary)
You have completed Course II. Now you should be able to: