- Basic Life Support, or BLS, generally refers to the type of care that first-responders, healthcare providers and public safety professionals provide to anyone who is experiencing cardiac arrest, respiratory distress or an obstructed airway. It requires knowledge and skills in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), using automated external defibrillators (AED) and relieving airway obstructions in patients of every age.
Is BLS the same as CPR?
What is BLS? – Basic life support (BLS) includes CPR but is an overall higher level of medical care typically administered by public safety professionals, first responders, paramedics, healthcare providers, and qualified bystanders. BLS gives someone in respiratory distress or cardiac arrest life saving care until they get more advanced medical attention at a hospital.
- An initial assessment Airway maintenance CPR
The average person doesn’t have the medical knowledge necessary to assess the person’s condition or do airway maintenance, which is why BLS is geared toward medical professionals or people with pre-existing medical knowledge.
What does BLS stand for in care?
Basic Life Support describes a set of basic life saving first aid techniques. The Resuscitation Council (UK) produces a set of guidelines for first aiders to administer Basic Life Support which will cover:
Safe management of an incident Dealing with an unresponsive breathing casualty (recovery position) Dealing with an unresponsive non-breathing casualty (CPR & Chain of survival) Dealing with a choking casualty both mild and severe (back slaps & abdominal thrusts) Using an Automated External Defibrillator if one is available
All React First, first aid courses cover these basic life support (BLS) techniques as per the current UK Resusciation Council guidelines. Have a look at out What is CPR? tip to learn more about this well-known, life-saving first aid treatment, for cardiac arrest.
What are the three types of BLS?
Basic life support (BLS) includes recognition of signs of sudden cardiac arrest (SCA), heart attack, stroke, and foreign-body airway obstruction (FBAO); cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR); and defibrillation with an automated external defibrillator (AED).
What is the difference between BLS and CPR and AED?
The Difference Between BLS & CPR – The main distinction is that BLS is more comprehensive and is geared toward medical professionals and first responders, whereas CPR and AED use are skills anyone can learn. Certification A certification document is proof of your capability with a particular skill set.
- Being certified in CPR or BLS means that you’ve been trained, educated and are prepared to perform the lifesaving skills taught in the course.
- To become certified in CPR or BLS, you must attend an accredited class, learn the methods involved, and pass a test.
- CPR and BLS certifications need to be renewed every two years from the completion date for safety assurance.
Both types of certification classes typically only require a few hours.
Can BLS use AED?
Abstract – The latest Adult Basic Life Support (BLS) guidelines support the inclusion of the use of the automated external defibrillator (AED), as part of basic life support (BLS). Emphasis on the provision of early defibrillation as part of BLS acknowledges the importance of this manoeuvre in the successful termination of ventricular fibrillation.
- The ramifications of such changes for both first responders and organisations implementing the guidelines should not be underestimated.
- Issues relating to resourcing, content and duration of training and retraining, auditing and evaluation require further exploration.
- To consider these issues now seems particularly pertinent, given the recent launch of the UK Government’s paper on public health, ‘Saving Lives-Our Healthier Nation’ which seeks to deploy AEDs in busy public places for use by trained members of the lay public.
Additionally, defibrillation has been identified as one of the key competencies that all trained nurses and other health care providers should be able to undertake. This paper will consider the background to the current guideline changes, analyse the wider implications of translating the recommendations into practice, and offer possible solutions to address the issues raised.
How many cycles of CPR in BLS?
Breathing: Breathe for the baby –
- Cover the baby’s mouth and nose with your mouth.
- Prepare to give two rescue breaths. Use the strength of your cheeks to deliver gentle puffs of air (instead of deep breaths from your lungs) to slowly breathe into the baby’s mouth one time, taking one second for the breath. Watch to see if the baby’s chest rises. If it does, give a second rescue breath. If the chest does not rise, repeat the head-tilt, chin-lift maneuver and then give the second breath.
- If the baby’s chest still doesn’t rise, continue chest compressions.
- Give two breaths after every 30 chest compressions. If two people are performing CPR, give one to two breaths after every 15 chest compressions.
- Continue CPR until you see signs of life or until medical personnel arrive.
What is an example of BLS?
Introduction – Basic life support (BLS) includes recognition of signs of sudden cardiac arrest, heart attack, stroke, and foreign body airway obstruction, and the performance of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and defibrillation with an automated external defibrillator.
- I) Cardiac arrests and accidents are the most common type of emergencies with grave consequences, but simple maneuvers and skills can improve the outcome, and immediate CPR can double or triple the chances of survival.
- Ii, iii) The majority of patients who experience an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest do not receive adequate resuscitation by health care professionals within the critical time, 3–5 min after onset, thus reducing the chance of survival.
(iv) The chance of successful resuscitation after sudden cardiac arrest decreases by 7–10% with every minute that resuscitation is delayed. (v) Early delivery of a shock with a defibrillator (CPR, plus defibrillation) within 3–5 min of collapse can result in survival rate of 49–75%.
Vi, vii) Knowledge of BLS and practice of simple CPR techniques increase the chances of survival of the patient until experienced medical help arrives and, in most cases, is sufficient for survival in itself. (viii) It is important that those who may be present at the scene of a cardiac arrest, particularly lay bystanders, have knowledge of appropriate resuscitation skills and the ability to put these into practice.
(ix) Even if they have poor initial knowledge, medical students are able to transfer CPR skills to others after they have been taught. (x) Therefore, it is crucial that everyone in the medical field has knowledge of BLS. (xi) In the wider community there is an expectation that competence in CPR and BLS is at a high standard in all hospital medical and nursing staff.
How many breaths per minute is CPR?
Infants under 1 year –
- Open the infant’s airway by placing 1 hand on their forehead and gently tilting the head back and lifting their chin. Remove any visible obstructions from their mouth and nose.
- Place your mouth over the infant’s mouth and nose and blow steadily and firmly into their mouth, checking that their chest rises. Give 5 initial rescue breaths.
- Place 2 fingers in the middle of the infant’s chest and push down by 4cm (about 1.5 inches), which is approximately one-third of the chest diameter. The quality (depth) of chest compressions is very important. Use the heel of 1 hand if you can’t achieve a depth of 4cm using the tips of 2 fingers.
- After 30 chest compressions at a rate of 100 to 120 a minute, give 2 rescue breaths.
- Continue with cycles of 30 chest compressions and 2 rescue breaths until the infant begins to recover or emergency help arrives.
Page last reviewed: 15 March 2022 Next review due: 15 March 2025
What are the principles of BLS?
DRS ABCD as an aid memoir – Dangers: Check for scene safety – overhead powerlines, road side etc. etc. Responsiveness: Call out, stimulate patient, assess for signs of life for 10 seconds (no signs of life include – no movement, unconscious, no signs of breathing or abnormal breathing – experienced providers may include a carotid pulse check but this is not required) Send for help: Delegate this role to a person to call emergency services and get back to you.
- Airway management takes precedence over any other injury including spinal.
- Ideally leave the victim in the position they are found unless they are demonstrating signs of an obstructed airway – gentle handling at all times if they must be moved.
- To clear the airway – open mouth and turn head to allow drainage
- If airway becomes compromised in resuscitation roll onto side to allow clearance and then reassess for responsiveness.
- Remember your airway opening manoeuvres – head tilt chin lift in adults, neutral position in infants.
Breathing: Causes of ineffective breathing include – central causes (e.g. opiates, brainstem injury)/ acute upper airway obstruction / chest wall paralysis or diaphragmatic paralysis / intrapulmonary cause / drowning / suffocation. Principles in BLS – Look, listen and feel for effective breathing for 10 seconds – if absent declare cardiac arrest.
- Open the airway using head tilt chin lift manoeuvre or jaw thrust
- Place mouth over open mouth with nostrils pinched (with care not to lose tilt).
- Give one breath of 1 second duration to give adequate volume to give chest rise
- Causes of failure – obstruction, insufficient air or poor seal
- Alternative methods include: mouth to nose (operator choice, infants, trismus), mouth to mask, mouth to neck stoma.
Circulation / Compressions:
- Compressions should be started in BLS protocol if victim is unresponsive and has abnormal breathing including agonal respirations. Pulse check is no longer required though it can be done if trained and comfortable to do so.
- Bystander CPR is actively encouraged and should be coached
- Recommended ration remains 30:2 – ARC recommends for all ages though other resources suggest 15:2 in paediatrics. This is a BLS recommendation for simplification. If an expert is present do a ratio of 15:2 in children.
- Compression only CPR is also an option – see links below demonstrating
- All rescuers should perform compressions and if trained and willing, they should be encouraged to provide rescue breaths.
- Paediatric arrests are often hypoxic therefore if there are two people 15:2 should be encouraged and rescue breaths should in particular be encouraged. Consider further rescue breaths prior to going for help
- Location: lower half of the sternum – consensus for simplicity (lower ineffective with risk of visceral injury, higher will be ineffective)
- Rate: 100-120 BPM “Staying alive”
- Depth: Adult: 5cm (2inches) to max of 6cm. Paediatric: 1/3 rd of depth or 4cm infants, 5cm children
- Allow for chest recoil and avoid leaning on the chest
- Minimise interruptions
- Multiple rescuers – rotate roles – evidence would suggest fatigue of compressor at around 1 minute though only realised by compressor at 5 minutes. Guidelines suggest rotation every 2 minutes. Ensure early help and early access to AED as priority.
- Early defibrillation remains a priority: Defibrillation within 3-5 minutes can produce survival rates as high as 50-70%.
- Continue compressions post defibrillation – the AED will generally prompt you.
- Pulse checks in BLS are not recommended. Rescuers can look for signs of life every 2 minutes / rhythm check if AED prompts you (AED generally has a 2 minute timer between rhythm checks)
Defibrillation: AED training is generally required. The machine verbally talks the rescuer through the process of its use when the power button is activated. Pads placement is demonstrated in pictures on the back of them. The end cable from the pads is inserted into the AED.
- The AED will announce that it is analysing the rhythm and will request hands off the patient i.e.
- To cease compressions and to stand clear.
- It will advise if a shock is required or not.
- Should a shock be required the AED will charge and deliver this shock.
- The rescuer’s priority is to maintain scene safety and to ensure all other parties stand clear of the activated shocking defibrillator.
Chest compressions must be resumed after a shock is delivered or if no shock is advised. Advanced discussions / concerns: BLS duration: continue until the patient responds / you are unable to continue / a health care professional arrives and takes over care or directs cessation Risks:
- Is there a risk to the victim if they are not in cardiac arrest and they receive chest compressions? The consensus guideline was based on low quality evidence but a high level recommendation. ILCOR argue on a risk benefit basis that the risk of omitting CPR to those in cardiac arrest is greater than causing injury to the non-arrested patient. Observational studies on those who received CPR in the absence of cardiac arrest report a low degree of complications.
- Is there a risk to the rescuer? There is a documented low-risk of disease transmission based on a systematic review done in training and clinical scenarios. However there is some suggestion that using barriers such as face mask reduce bacterial transmission to the rescuer therefore if available this is recommended.
What is the BLS sequence of steps?
CABD (Circulation, Airway, Breathing, Defibrillate) – You find a child lying on the ground. Assess to make sure the scene is safe for you to respond to the down patient.
Stimulate and speak to the child. Look at the chest and torso for movement and normal breathing.
(One provider) If alone and collapse is un-witnessed:
Perform 2 minutes of CPR first then call the emergency response team and bring an AED to the patient.
If alone and collapse is witnessed:
(one provider) Call the emergency response team and bring an AED first, then start CPR.
(two providers) Have someone near call the emergency response team and bring the AED. (two providers) You start CPR.
Place patient supine on a hard flat surface.
Check the patient for a carotid pulse for 5-10 seconds.
Move to the airway and rescue breathing portion of the algorithm:
Provide 12-20 rescue breaths per minute. Recheck pulse every 2 minutes.
Begin 5 cycles of CPR (lasts approximately 2 minutes) Start with chest compressions:
Provide 100 to 120 compressions per minute. This is 30 compressions every 15 to 18 seconds. Use one or two arms. Place one or both of your palms midline, one over the other, on the lower sternum, between the nipples. Press at least to 1/3 the depth of patient’s chest or 2 inches. Press hard and fast. Allow for full chest recoil with each compression. Allow for only minimal interruptions to chest compressions.
(One Provider: 1 cycle is 30 chest compressions to 2 rescue breaths) (Two Providers: 1 cycle is 15 chest compressions to 2 rescue breaths) If you have two providers: switch rolls between compressor and rescue breather every 2 minutes or 5 cycles of CPR. In the event of an unwitnessed collapse, drowning, or trauma: Use the Jaw-Thrust maneuver. (this maneuver is used when cervical spine injury cannot be ruled out):
Place your fingers on the lower rami of the jaw. Provide anterior pressure to advance the jaw forward.
In the event of a witnessed collapse and there’s no reason to assume a C-spine injury: Use the Head Tilt-Chin Lift maneuver.
place your palm on the patient’s forehead and apply pressure to tilt the head backward. place the fingers of your other hand under the mental protuberance of the chin and pull the chin forward and cephalic.
Scan the patients chest and torso for possible movement during the “assess unresponsiveness” portion of the algorithm. Watch for abnormal breathing or gasping that will require additional ventilatory support. Continue to assess and maintain a patent airway and place the child in the recovery position.
Use a barrier device if available. Pinch the patient’s nose closed. Make a seal using your mouth over the mouth of the patient. Each rescue breath should last approximately 1 second. Watch for chest rise. Allow time for the air to expel from patient.
During normal CPR without an advanced airway: (One provider) Provide at least 6 rescue breaths per minute. (Two provider) Provide at least 12 rescue breaths per minute. During normal CPR with an advanced airway:
Provide 12-20 rescue breaths per minute (do not stop chest compressions for rescue breaths).
If patient has a pulse and no CPR is required:
Provide 12 -20 rescue breaths per minute. Recheck pulse every 2 minutes.
If foreign body obstruction:
Perform abdominal thrusts.
How does BLS work?
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What are the 4 elements of BLS?
There are 5 elements of Basic Life Support training that should be followed by healthcare professionals. Basic Life Support (BLS-HCP) comprises cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and many different elements. These include initial assessment, airway management, oxygen therapy and chest compressions.
Which is most important in BLS?
United States – Basic Life Support Emergency Medical Services in the United States are generally identified with Emergency Medical Technicians-Basic (EMT-B). EMT-B is the highest level of healthcare provider that is limited to the BLS protocol; higher medical functions use some or all of the Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) protocols, in addition to BLS protocols.
However, the American Heart Association ‘s BLS protocol is designed for use by laypeople, as well as students and others certified first responder, and to some extent, higher medical function personnel. BLS for Healthcare Providers Course According to the American Heart Association, in order to be certified in BLS, a student must take an online or in-person course.
However, an online BLS course must be followed with an in-person skills session in order to obtain a certification issued by The American Heart Association. Chain of survival The American Heart Association highlights the most important steps of BLS in a “five-link chain of survival.” The chain of survival includes early recognition of an ongoing emergency, early initiation of CPR by a bystander, early use of a defibrillator, and early advanced life support once more qualified medical help arrives.
- Qualified bystanders with training in BLS are encouraged to perform the first three steps of the five-link chain of survival.
- High Quality CPR High quality cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and early defibrillation using an automated external defibrillator (AED) are the most important aspects of BLS to ensure a patient survives.
CPR involves a rescuer or bystander providing chest compressions to a patient in a supine position while also giving rescue breaths. The rescuer or bystander can also choose not to provide breaths and provide compression-only CPR. Depending on the age and circumstances of the patient, there can be variations in the compression to breath ratio given.
Why is BLS important?
The importance of learning Basic Life Support (BLS) – The Training Hub is a level of medical care used in an emergency, life-threatening situations until the victim can be cared for professionally by a team of paramedics or at a hospital. It can help people who are choking, drowning or are suffering from cardiac arrest, and it can make the difference between life and death for some people.
Is included in all first aid training courses, along with related life-saving techniques and procedures such as cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). As well as for members of the emergency services, this sort of first aid training can be particularly useful for people employed as teachers, daycare providers, health and social care workers and even security personnel.
You will also learn about other important measures on a first aid training course, such as the recovery position and the correct use of an automated external defibrillation (AED) device. In some cases, it may be necessary to take a separate, Need to top up your BLS? TutorCare offers an “”.
Can I use AED instead of CPR?
AED defibrillators, in addition to CPR, have been shown in multiple studies to increase survival rates by more than 50 percent. According to the American Heart Association, the survival rates of cardiac arrests that occur outside of hospitals nearly double when AED defibrillators are administered in addition to CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation).
- While CPR is essential to maintain blood flow through the heart, AED defibrillators are imperative for maintaining a natural heart rhythm that can help prevent not only death, but brain damage as well.
- A sudden cardiac arrest differs from a heart attack because it can occur to anyone, no matter the level of health or the condition of the heart.
At the onset of a sudden cardiac arrest, the heart begins dying at a rate of 10% per minute, which means the victim will likely be dead within ten minutes. At five to seven minutes into cardiac arrest, brain damage begins. The average emergency response time is between 8 and 12 minutes.
- AED defibrillators administered within the first 3-5 minutes can keep the victim alive by maintaining necessary heart rhythm and oxygen flow to the brain until emergency responders arrive.
- The American Heart Association held a PAD (Public Access Defibrillation) trial in 2003 that showed, over an average of 21.5 months, 29 out of 129 victims of cardiac arrest survived that received both CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) and treatment from AED defibrillators, compared to only 15 survivors out of the 103 victims that received CPR alone.
This study was done in 2003, and since that time defibrillator technology has improved and the number of AED defibrillators in public buildings has continuously increased. Business owners are becoming more aware that CPR training alone is not enough. By having AED defibrillators on-hand, the chances of saving lives doubles, and, therefore, the possibility for future liability lawsuits is cut in half as well.
- While CPR is an undeniably valuable skill that is absolutely necessary for the event of a sudden cardiac arrest, by supplementing CPR with AED defibrillators, the chances of survival with the least amount of damage actually double.
- If you would like to purchase or lease one of our AED defibrillators, click here today.
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Should I do AED or CPR first?
Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) is an emergency procedure used if a person’s heart stops beating or breathing ceases. An Automated External Defibrillator (AED) is a portable device used to treat people suffering from sudden cardiac arrest (heart attack), which is potentially fatal.
- Before administering CPR or using an AED, you should always call 911.
- Always call 911 first before administering CPR or using an AED.
- The timing of the use of an AED first depends on how accessible an AED is.
- If an AED is immediately accessible, get the AED and use it right away.
- However, in all likelihood, there will not be an AED close enough and CPR should be started first.
If there is only one person present, that person should start CPR right away and continue until first responders arrive. If there is more than one person present, one person can begin administering CPR while another person gets the AED. Once an AED is in place, follow prompts and deliver a shock if instructed to do so.
Why is AED better than CPR?
CPR & AED Defibrillators – AED Defibrillator Training – Harvard Health BOSTON, MA – Studies show that when cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is done right away — and correctly — it saves lives. However, the chances of that happening aren’t very good, reports the May issue of the Harvard Health Letter,
- Some studies have found that as few as 1 in 20 people who have a cardiac arrest outside of the hospital survive, even with CPR.
- And even health professionals often don’t perform the procedure correctly.
- The Automated External Defibrillator (AED) The advent of the automated external defibrillator (AED) has added another wrinkle.
An AED analyzes the activity of the heart. If it has developed a lethal rhythm or is not beating at all, the machine delivers an electric shock to jolt it back to normal. AEDs can be bought without a prescription for about $1,500. “The AED presents a tough choice,” says the Health Letter,
It’s theoretically better than CPR because it can restart the heart, whereas CPR is merely a stopgap.” One study found that a defibrillator-CPR combination improved the survival rate over CPR alone (23% versus 14%). But if you run around looking for an AED while neglecting CPR, you could lose lifesaving minutes.
Value of an (AED) Defibrillator The financial value of a home AED is debatable. You’re plunking down $1,500 on the guess that (a) someone will have a cardiac arrest at home and (b) someone else will be there to use the machine. If you do decide to buy an AED, the Harvard Health Letter advises that you be sure you know how to use the machine and where it is stored.
The Harvard Health Letter celebrates its 30th anniversaryThe therapeutic side of nicotineDieting the French wayShould you take aspirin for your heart?Are carbonated beverages bad for you?Napping and nighttime sleepA doctor answers: Why are COX-2 drugs linked to heart attacks? And, Should you get an immune system test?
: CPR & AED Defibrillators – AED Defibrillator Training – Harvard Health
Who Cannot use AED?
Can You Use an AED on Someone with a Stopped Heart? – The short answer to this is no. An AED can only be used on someone with a rapid heart rate. You cannot use it on victims with an extremely slow heart rhythm or those whose heart stops beating. When the user puts the pads or electrodes on the victim’s chest, the AED determines whether the victim’s heart needs an electric shock or not. Hence, if the victim’s heart has stopped or there is no heartbeat, the AED device is not going to detect that an electrical shock is needed, which is why using an AED on someone whose heart has stopped is not effective.
How many times can an AED be used?
5. How many times can a person be defibrillated? – In short; a person can be shocked as many times as necessary, however, with each shock that fails to return the heart to a normal rhythm, the chances of survival decreases. It is, however, important to remember the following factors:
How many shocks can the battery on your AED deliver? How many batteries do you have for your AED?
Every minute without CPR or defibrillation reduces the victim’s survival chances by between 7% and 10% suggested a minimum of 2-3 shocks are most closely related to long-term survival afterwards. However, physical and underlying conditions vary in people, defibrillators greatly extends survival chances.
Is BLS equivalent to first aid?
Does Basic Life Support Certification cover First Aid? – The term ” First Aid ” is relatively broad. Essentially, the term can be used to describe the primary (first) aid given to individuals suffering from both minor and life-threatening conditions. Thus, while CPR and BLS skills both broadly fall into the category of first aid, BLS and first aid should not be considered synonymous.
What is CPR level C vs BLS?
Level A – Choking and CPR sequences on Adults. Level C – Choking and CPR sequences on Adults, Children and Babies. BLS – (Replaced CPR Level HCP) – Basic Life Support CPR – For Health Care Professionals that work for a facility performing Team CPR.
What is the difference between BLS and ACLS?
Comparing ACLS & BLS: Which Certification Is Right For You? – The most significant distinction between ACLS and BLS is the level of advancement between the two certifications. Consider BLS certification as having the most basic fundamentals of lifesaving cardiac care.
ACLS is a more sophisticated and advanced certification course that builds on the fundamentals of BLS. Basic life support (BLS) is performed in the beginning stages of the emergency while ACLS is the supportive medical care that healthcare professionals use to continue treatment in the hospital. Both certifications are necessary if you work in healthcare, so how do you know which certification is right for you? Consider taking an ACLS course if you are a healthcare professional who has not previously completed an ACLS course or simply need an in-depth refresher.
ACLS courses allow you to brush up on the latest lifesaving techniques and help you learn how to respond adequately to almost all cardiopulmonary emergencies. Who should take a BLS certification course? Generally speaking, anyone can take a BLS certification course.