Basic life support

Basic life support

Basic Life Support (BLS) is a specific level of prehospital medical care provided by trained responders, including emergency medical technicians, in the absence of advanced medical care.

Basic Life Support consists of a number of life-saving techniques focused on the "ABC"s of pre-hospital emergency care:

* Airway: the protection and maintenance of patient airway including the use of airway adjuncts such as an oral or nasal airway
* Breathing: the actual flow of air through respiration, natural or artificial respiration, often assisted by emergency oxygen
* Compressions: pressure applied on the chest to keep the blood flowing by compressing the heart during cardiopulmonary resuscitation|CPR]

BLS may also include considerations of patient transport such as the protection of the cervical spine and avoiding additional injuries through splinting and immobilization.

BLS generally does not include the use of drugs or invasive skills, and can be contrasted with the provision of Advanced Life Support (ALS). Most laypersons can master BLS skill after attending a short course. Firefighters and police officers are often required to be BLS certified. BLS is also immensely useful for many other professions, such as daycare providers, teachers and security personnel.

CPR provided in the field buys time for higher medical responders to arrive and provide ALS care. For this reason it is essential that any person starting CPR also obtains ALS support by calling for help via radio using agency policies and procedures and/or using an appropriate emergency telephone number.

An important advance in providing BLS is the availability of the automated external defibrillator or AED, which can be used to deliver defibrillation. This improves survival outcomes in cardiac arrest cases, sometimes dramatically.

New BLS guidelines was published by the American Heart Association in December 2005 [] .

In other countries

The term BLS is also used in some non-English speaking countries (e.g. in Italy) for the education of first responders.

* Spain: SVB ("Soporte Vital Básico")
* Belgium: "Aide médicale urgente" ("emergency medical assistance")/ EHBO ("Eerste Hulp Bij Ongelukken", "first aid")
* France: PSE 2 ("Premiers Secours en Equipe 2e niveau, Team rescue worker 2n level) = former CFAPSE (before 2007)("certificat de formation aux activités des premiers secours en équipe", "education certificate for the team first responder activity")
* Poland: "Podstawowe zabiegi resuscytacyjne"
* Germany: "Erste Hilfe Schein" (first aid certificate)
* Romania: SVB ("Support Vital de Bază")
* Netherlands: EHBO ("Eerste Hulp Bij Ongelukken", "first aid")

These courses do not include the use of drugs or of invasive techniques, but include the management of various traumas and casualty lifting and movement.
* India: In India Academy of Traumatology (India)are running the Advance Cardiac Life Support and Basic Life Support Course. AOT-India is also running NTMC (National Trauma Management Course) NDPCH (National Disaster Preparedness Course for Hospitals), EMT (Emergency Medical Technician Course. Academy of Traumatology India) is also organize Under Graduate Trauma Course for Medical Students. For more detail visit [] .

See also

* Advanced Life Support
* Emergency Medical Technician
* Artificial Respiration
* Advanced Cardiac Life Support

External links

* " [ Single-Rescuer Adult Basic Life Support] — An Advisory Statement From the Basic Life Support Working Group of the International Liaison Committee on Resuscitation", "Circulation" #95, pp 2174–2179, ed. American Heart Association, 1997
* [ Nozioni primo soccorso BLS] (Italian), PDF document (12p, 912 Kb)

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