Basic life support (BLS) focuses in providing basic medical care to individuals who are suffering from life threatening injuries or illnesses and are in need of immediate medical attention.
While BLS may not be able to provide all of the medical needs a patient requires the purpose of BLS to help revive, resuscitate and extend a patient or victims life by provide basic (but life saving) medical support until the individual is able to receive advanced medical support at a hospital or health care center.
BLS can be performed with or without medical equipment, however when available those performing BLS may use an automated external defibrillator (AED) to assist in manually stimulating the victims breathing along with CPR to assist in providing basic life support to the victim which can greatly increase the victims survivability.
BLS may also be used in conjunction with advanced cardiac life support (ACLS) to provide further medical care and help assist in the process of reviving, resuscitating and extending the victims life.
In additions to those who operate in the medical field BLS can also be trained and performed by individuals outside of the medical care such as fire fighters, police officers, life guards and anyone else who is certified in BLS.
In terms of when and where basic life support is likely to be performed BLS may be used in a number of life threatening situations such as:
- Reviving drowning victims by clearing the air passage of water and manually forcing oxygen in and out of the victims lungs to assist with breathing
- Assisting choking victims that are unable to breathe due to an object (such as food) that may be blocking the air passage
- Providing basic life support to individuals suffering from hypothermia
- Providing basic life support to Individuals suffering from cardiac arrest, strokes and heart attacks
While the process and methods of BLS may change from one country to another one of the most commonly known and used methods of BLS is known as CAB.
CAB stands for circulation, airway & breathing and forms the basis of most BLS programs.
- Circulation – Circulation focuses on providing adequate blood flow through the body tissue and vital organs.
- Airway – Airway focuses on ensuring that the victims lungs and airway passage are clear of objects and obstructions that may prevent the victim from receiving sufficient oxygen.
- Breathing – focuses on the respiratory system and making sure the victims lungs are working properly to take in and expel oxygen. Think inflating and deflating the lungs.
Basic life support certification
If you want to learn more about the BLS certification program additional information is available through online resources such as the American Heart Association, Red Cross and the American Medical Association.
These websites such provide you with the information y0u need to learn how to on take the BLS training and certification program.
You may also want to check with your local library, college or hospital to get additional information related to the program.
The BLS certification program is relatively short program and may be required if you’re already working for a health care organization, but keep in mind that even if you aren’t working for the health care industry you can still choose to take the exam on your own.
During the BLS certification program you’ll learn how to provide basic life support, perform CPR, safely clear a victims airway passage, use an AED device and perform a number of life saving techniques which can be used to extend an individuals until they are able to receive advanced life support.
- American Heart Association
- Red Cross
- American Medical Association
- Advanced cardiac life support
- Pre-Hospital Trauma Life Support