BLS Renewal

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What is the key aim of Basic Life Support?
What is the primary role of the heart in the body?
What is the role of the brain in coordinating the body’s organs?
Who is required to maintain certification in Basic Life Support?

What is Basic Life Support?

Basic Life Support (BLS) is a foundational set of life-saving techniques designed to provide immediate care to individuals experiencing injuries or life-threatening medical emergencies. These interventions are crucial in maintaining vital signs and stabilizing patients until professional medical help arrives. BLS is not intended to replace professional medical care but serves as a critical bridge that can make a significant difference in patient outcomes, particularly in emergency situations.


Key Components of BLS

BLS encompasses several core components that can be remembered through the acronym CAB: Circulation, Airway, and Breathing.


  1. Assessing the Patient:
    • Initial Assessment: Quickly evaluate the situation to ensure it is safe to approach the patient. Check for responsiveness by gently shaking the patient and shouting, "Are you okay?"
    • Call for Help: If the patient is unresponsive, immediately call for emergency medical services (EMS). If others are present, direct someone to call for help while you begin BLS procedures.
  2. Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR):
    • Chest Compressions: Place the heel of one hand on the center of the patient's chest, place the other hand on top, and interlock your fingers. Press down hard and fast, at a depth of at least 2 inches and a rate of 100-120 compressions per minute.
    • Rescue Breaths: After 30 compressions, give 2 rescue breaths. Tilt the patient’s head back slightly to open the airway, pinch the nose shut, and breathe into the mouth until the chest rises. Repeat cycles of 30 compressions and 2 breaths.
  3. Basic First Aid:
    • Bleeding Control: Apply direct pressure to any bleeding wounds with a clean cloth or bandage. Elevate the injury if possible.
    • Shock Management: If the patient shows signs of shock (pale, clammy skin, rapid breathing, or fainting), lay them flat and elevate their legs, cover them with a blanket to keep warm, and continue monitoring vital signs.
  4. Using an Automated External Defibrillator (AED):
    • AED Application: Turn on the AED and follow the voice prompts. Attach the pads to the patient's bare chest as illustrated on the device.
    • Shock Delivery: Ensure no one is touching the patient, then deliver a shock if advised by the AED. Immediately resume CPR after the shock or if no shock is advised.

The guidelines of Basic Life Support are regularly updated to reflect the most current evidence available. To ensure their knowledge remains up-to-date, all those certified in BLS must renew their certification every two years. Healthcare professionals are typically familiar with the BLS guidelines; however, they must obtain certification to refresh their skills in accordance with the ever-evolving, evidence-based protocols of the American Heart Association.


Basic Anatomy and Physiology

Anatomy and physiology are the basic sciences that support the practice of any health profession. A thorough understanding of how the heart, lungs, brain, and cells perform in our body is essential for healthcare providers to understand the workings of the human body and to develop safe, effective, and individualized treatment plans for their patients.

Key organs involved include the heart, lungs, and brain, which work together to sustain life.

CPR Select
  • The Heart:
    • The heart is responsible for pumping oxygenated blood from the lungs to the rest of the body and returning deoxygenated blood back to the lungs for oxygenation.
    • Effective CPR ensures that blood continues to circulate, delivering oxygen to vital organs even when the heart is not functioning properly.
  • The Lungs:
    • The lungs facilitate the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide. During rescue breaths, oxygen is provided to the patient's lungs, which then distribute it throughout the body.
    • Maintaining an open airway is crucial for effective breathing and oxygen exchange.
  • The Brain:
    • The brain controls and coordinates many of the body’s functions, including the involuntary actions of the heart and lungs.
    • Ensuring continuous blood flow to the brain during CPR helps prevent brain damage and improves the chances of survival and recovery.


Basic Life Support (Health Care Provider)

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