What is basic life support?
Basic life support (BLS) refers to the initial care given to a person who has suffered a sudden cardiac arrest or respiratory arrest. It is also sometimes known as emergency life support or cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).
The main aim of BLS is to keep the person alive until they can be given more definitive medical treatment. This may involve chest compressions and rescue breaths (mouth-to-mouth resuscitation), use of an automated external defibrillator (AED), or both.
BLS is usually taught as a short course, which covers the basic principles and techniques of CPR and AED use. It is often combined with other emergency first aid measures, such as dealing with choking, bleeding, and broken bones.
CPR is a life-saving technique that can be used when someone has suffered a cardiac arrest (when the heart stops beating). It involves chest compressions and rescue breaths (mouth-to-mouth resuscitation).
AEDs are portable devices that deliver an electric shock to the heart, which can restart it if it has stopped beating. They are easy to use and can be found in many public places, such as airports, shopping centres, and sports stadiums.
BLS is an important skill for anyone who may find themselves in a situation where someone else needs emergency medical help. It could be used on a family member, friend, or even a stranger. BLS could mean the difference between life and death.
While BLS is generally considered to be safe, there are some risks associated with it. These include the potential for transmission of infection, bruising or other injuries from chest compressions, and emotional distress.
If you are ever in a situation where someone needs CPR, remember to call 911 (or your local emergency number) first. Then, if you feel comfortable doing so, start CPR and use an AED if one is available.
Who is eligible to receive this BLS training?
CPR training & basic life support (BLS) training is available to a wide range of people, including health care providers, adult and paediatric patients, company employees, hospital staff, nurses, and other professionals who provide emergency care. The training aims to teach people the fundamentals of lifesaving, such as recognising the signs of cardiac arrest and performing chest compressions, maintaining an open airway, providing breaths, and controlling bleeding. Important procedures such as recovery positions, airway management, and the use of defibrillators are also covered in the training. Individuals must understand the significance of BLS and the legislation surrounding it in order to provide quality care and increase patients' chances of survival. After completing BLS training, a certificate is typically awarded, and continuing professional development (CPD) is frequently required to maintain the skills and knowledge required to respond effectively in emergency situations.
What are the objectives of a Basic Life Support Course?
The goals of basic life support (BLS) training & CPR course are to provide people with the knowledge and skills they need to respond effectively in emergency situations, with a focus on saving lives, promoting recovery, and ensuring patient safety.
Among the specific goals are:
Recognising cardiac arrest and other potentially fatal emergencies
Capability to perform chest compressions and provide breathing assistance
Understanding of recovery positions and airway management techniques Ability to maintain an open airway and control bleeding
Understanding of the use of defibrillators and their significance in the survival chain
Knowledge of the legislation and requirements governing BLS and emergency care
Ability to work effectively as part of a team in an emergency situation by developing the necessary skills and knowledge to assess a patient's condition and take appropriate action
Understanding the significance of ongoing training and professional development (CPD)
Increased confidence and competence in responding to emergencies, increasing patients' chances of survival.
The training materials, delivery methods, and assessment methods used should be designed to support these goals, giving individuals a thorough understanding of BLS and the ability to respond effectively in emergency situations.
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Who decides if someone needs basic life support training?
The individual or their employer based on their role and responsibilities. In health care settings, BLS training is often required for staff who play a role in patient care, such as nurses, doctors, and paramedics. In other industries, companies may decide that certain employees, such as security personnel or first responders, need BLS training.
Individuals who are interested in taking BLS training can access information about available courses and the level of training required for their role through various sources, such as the internet or training providers. They can also check the qualifications and certificates required for their role, such as the Care Certificate or a level of BLS certification, in order to determine if BLS training is necessary.
How is the BLS course delivered?
Basic life support (BLS) courses are typically delivered through a combination of classroom instruction, hands-on practice, and video presentations. The delivery methods used vary depending on the course provider and the level of BLS certification being offered.
A typical BLS course may begin with an introduction to the purpose and objectives of BLS, followed by a presentation on the steps involved in performing basic life support, such as chest compressions and breaths. The presentation may include videos, posters, infographics, and other visual aids to help illustrate the information being presented.
In the hands-on portion of the course, students will typically practice performing BLS on a manikin, using equipment such as a resuscitation manikin and other simulation equipment. This activity is designed to give students the opportunity to practice the skills they have learned and receive feedback from instructors.