Advanced Medical Certification

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Starting the Chain of Survival

Over the last few years, the ILCOR has kept the Basic Life Support (BLS) course updated as more advanced research in cardiac care has been released. One of the leading causes of death in the United States is cardiac arrest. Recently, BLS guidelines have been restructured significantly, though several elements of BLS continue to be crucial steps in a patient’s initial treatment. These general elements include:

  • The importance of rapidly beginning the Chain of Survival.
  • Administering high-quality chest compressions for children, infants, and adults.
  • How to use the Automated External Defibrillator (AED).
  • How to provide rescue breathing in appropriate situations.
  • The importance of performing as a team.
  • The best ways to treat choking.

Initiating the Chain of Survival

By initiating BLS early, you can increase the chances of survival for an individual experiencing cardiac arrest. The following simple steps should be administered to increase the odds of survival. Figure 1

Adult Chain of Survival

BLS Chain of Survival - Adult

Figure 1

With children and infants, these emergencies aren’t usually caused by the heart. Cardiac arrests in children and infants are usually triggered by breathing problems, so the most important step of the Pediatric Chain of Survival is prevention.

Pediatric Chain of Survival

BLS Chain of Survival - Pediatric

Figure 2

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