Advanced Cardiac Life Support

The American Heart Association Advanced Cardiac Life Support Course incorporates many advanced skills required to resuscitate the person who is full cardiac arrest. We will look at as well as explore some of the skills required to be effective in the emergency setting.

CPR – Basic Cardiac Life Support

Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation is the first line of care implemented. The layperson more often than not can render CPR to the person who has stopped breathing and has no pulse. By assessing the level of consciousness and determining the person does not have a carotid pulse, we can begin chest compressions.

  • Compressions – 30 compressions per 2 ventilations and a rate of 100 per minute.
  • Airway – the A/W must be opened and clear of all obstructions.
  • Breathing – excellent rise and fall of the chest is paramount.

There is no substitute for great CPR irregardless of what is being said in the media. We as healthcare providers must push hard and fast while allowing the chest to fully recoil. Allowing the chest to recoil allows the ventricles in the heart to completely fill with oxygenated blood. As a result, when we compress the chest the ventricles ejects blood volume up and into the Aorta which supplies the body with oxygenated blood.

CPR - CAB per AHA

Compressions Airway Breathing (CPR) – American Heart Association

Automated External Defibrillator

A vast majority of cardiac arrest victims will be found with a heart rhythm known as Ventricular Fibrillation and or Ventricular Tachycardia without a pulse. While CPR keeps the blood flowing throughout the body, the pump is being compressed manual via compressions. The electrical component of the conduction system must be reset so that the patient’s heart can beat, pump and function without manual compressions. Let us look at the steps for the use of the AED.

  • Go and get the AED and return to the patient.
  • Expose the chest – Shave excessive hair if necessary.
  • Attached pads per the picture diagram.
  • Turn on the AED and follow prompts.

The AED will advise the operator of each and every individual step that should be followed. Let it be known that one should receive training from the American Heart Association before every operating and AED.

AED - CPR

Adult Cardiac Arrest – AED/CPR Flow Chart

 ACLS Algorithm

The ACLS Algorithm provides the guidelines for the delivery of emergency cardiac medications as well as intubation and the search for reversible causes. This is where the CPR, AED, Intubation, IVs and medications all come together in one coordinated sequence. To better prepare yourself for the road ahead in healthcare, we highly recommend you attend an ACLS certification course. The interpretation of the EKG is required in order to select the appropriate medication to push intravenously. Let us take a look at the ACLS Algorithm info graphic below.

Cardiac Arrest Algorithm

Cardiac Arrest Algorithm – American Heart Association

The American Heart Association ACLS Certification Course is of the utmost importance for those individuals who plan to work in the field of medicine. Hospitals who adhere to JACHO standards require the majority of their staff to be certified within six months of their hire date. Please see the links for the American Heart Association as well as JACHO.