Basic Life Support Certification (Definition And Explanation)

What Is Basic Life Support?

Basic Life Support (BLS) is a rudimentary level of medical treatment for given to patients and victims of life-threatening injures and sicknesses that are in immediate need of attention until they can receive full and adequate medical treatment at the hospital.

This treatment can be carried out by a number different of host health-care professionals. These professionals include nurses (such as flight and travel nurses), doctors, paramedics, and EMTs. You can also find other professions where the workers are also certified in Basic Life Support.

Some of those professions are:

– Police Officers
– Security Guards
– Teachers
– Social Workers
– Daycare Providers
– Fireman
– Life Guards
– Athletic Trainers

This system is by no means perfect. Nor does it provide all the immediate healthcare needs to the individual suffering from illness or injury. However, BLS does provide medical professionals with a basis in life support treatment. It provides the “basics” for emergency treatment.

Plus medical professionals need to be certified in BLS before they can be certified more advanced and specialized forms of life support (such as Advanced Cardiac Life Support or Pediatric Advanced Life Support). BLS can also be used with more advanced forms of life support to help provide a higher level of treatment for patients.

Basic Life Support is outlined in a set of guidelines called algorithms. Algorithms are meant to give medical professionals a standardized process to follow to executing and managing the life support process for a number of different scenarios such as drowning, hypothermia victims, excessive bleeding, choking, and cardiac arrest.

BLS allows for the use of an Automated Electronic Defibrillator (AED).  This dramatic increases the chances of survival for cardiac arrest patients. However, basic life support can be implemented with or without the use the AED or other medical equipment.

Some of the things covers during certification are resuscitation (ex. neonatal and cardiopulmonary), reviving, airway management, blood circulation promotion, and respiration.  When it comes to blood circulation, BLS  is usually broken down into these three things:

   – Circulation Making blood is moving to vital organs and tissue. Blood carries nutrients and oxygen. These are things your organs, organic tissue, and cells need to function properly. Blood also helps remove metabolic waste.
   – Airway The ensures the airways (that carry oxygen can carbon dioxide) in lungs can properly move gases (O2 and CO2) in and  out of the body.
   – Breathing This is specializes on the respiratory system. The goal is making the lungs can properly inflate and deflate. This also uses airway management.

BLS confines these guidelines down to the form of mnemonics. They are known as CAB and ABC. They sand for Airway, Breathing, and Circulation as described above.

The American Heart Association completely emphasizes and endorses ABC/CAB. They believe these skills (chest compression and cardiopulmonary resuscitation) are vital to BLS.

Normal people can maintain ABC/CAB by themselves. However, if they are injured or ill and incapable of doing this themselves then they are in need of Basic Life Support. As mentioned above, this can include airway management for the lungs or artificial respiration. This can also include bandaging wounds to maintain proper blood circulation.

What Is Basic Life Support Certification?

The certification training for this program for this is very short. Many medical,  healthcare, and other professional organizations require certification in BLS.  Anyone can go out and get certificated on their own though.

As with ACLS and PALS, The American Heart Association runs and accredits BLS certification programs around the country. Medical professionals and students can take an online and classroom (in person) course. Online courses must be coupled with an in person raining issued and approved by The American Heart Association.

You can find more information on BLS training and certification on  The American Heart Association and The Red Cross websites. Your local university, community college, and hospital will have more  information about programs as well.

Basic Life Support is the first step of the Life Support certification chain. As mentioned earlier, after getting certified in BLS; there are plenty of other specialties in Life Support to get certified in. It is work the time to invest in this certification for medical professionals. It will help with their career.