Basic Life Support (BLS) Provider Handbook is based on the 2015-2020 Basic Life Support guidelines published by the American Heart Association. IT is a comprehensive resource intended for health care professionals currently enrolled in a Basic Life Support Certification or Recertification Course. It serves as the primary training material for BLS Certification and Recertification courses. Although it is primarily intended for professionals to use during their courses, the handbook was also created to serve as daily resource material for health care professionals. Information covered in the handbook includes Basic Life Support instruction for adults and children, AED usage, airway obstruction and rescue breathing techniques, and more. Specific Algorithms for BLS and more are also included within the handbook. All material included in this handbook is delivered in a manner meant to enhance learning in the most comprehensive and convenient way possible.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), heart disease continues to be the leading cause of death in the United States and is responsible for over 600,000 deaths every year. Research continues to improve how we respond with life-saving techniques to emergencies. These techniques are based on the most current research and are organized into a systematic response called the Chain of Survival, which begins with Basic Life Support (BLS). The Chain of Survival provides the person the best chance to receive the care needed and return to a healthy life.
The heart pumps blood through the lungs, where blood takes in oxygen and releases carbon dioxide. This blood then returns to the heart where it is pumped out to vital organs—the heart and brain—as well as the rest of the body. When the heart stops, blood flow stops, and the person quickly becomes unconscious. Without blood flow, the heart and the brain quickly become damaged due to lack of oxygen. The actions that make up BLS try to prevent or slow the damage until the cause of the problem can be corrected. BLS improves a person’s chance of surviving until advanced care becomes available.
The American Heart Association (AHA) published their 2015 guidelines for Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) and Emergency Cardiovascular Care (ECC) in the scientific journal Circulation. Resuscitation research continues to show that high-quality CPR is increasing survival rates for hospital discharge. The AHA’s updated 2015 guidelines expand on many of the recommendations made in 2010 and continue to focus on high-quality chest compressions as the intervention is most likely to improve resuscitation outcomes.
The AHA’s analysis of the research conducted since the 2010 guidelines shows that resuscitation outcomes improve when high-quality chest compressions are started immediately. The characteristics that define high-quality compressions remain as pushing hard and fast.