The human body can be weird. Sometimes mild symptoms can be a sign of something life-threatening, while symptoms that seem severe turn out to be nothing to worry about. That’s why medical professionals use algorithms to help determine the severity of a patient’s condition. Using algorithms allows these medical professionals to ensure that they’re taking all necessary steps to address a patient’s needs adequately.
Algorithms and protocols for early life-saving include Basic Life Support, Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support, and Pediatric Life Support. In medicine, seconds can be the difference between life and death, and following these protocols ensures no steps are missed.
Medical Algorithms for Timely Intervention
Three key algorithms guide medical professionals in addressing medical emergencies promptly and adequately. These are Basic Life Support, Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support, and Pediatric Life Support.
Basic Life Support
Basic Life Support, or BLS, covers the most basic first steps of life-saving. Anyone can become BLS certified; it is not restricted to medical community members. (bolingbrookmasjid.com) It helps guide the proper protocol for if you were to encounter an adult in distress within the community.
Steps for BLS include:
- Secure the scene: ensure that yourself and the patient are out of harm’s way.
- Check for a response: If the patient cannot respond and is not breathing correctly, call out for help, have someone call for EMS, and have someone look for an automated external defibrillator or AED.
- Start rescue breathing if the patient has a pulse but no breathing or abnormal breathing.
- If there is no pulse and no breathing, begin high-quality chest compressions for two minutes or until the AED is ready to use. Then, use the AED to check the patient’s heart rhythm and deliver a shock as needed.
Within the BLS, there are several other algorithms to help overall BLS go smoothly. These include:
- BLS CPR for proper CPR when only one rescuer is available
- BLS AED for proper use of AED devices
- BLS Rescue Breathing for proper rescue breathing techniques
- BLS Infant and Child for children in cardiac or respiratory arrest in the community
- BLS Choking for the proper administration of the Heimlich maneuver
- BLS Suspected Opioid Poisoning Algorithm for the proper administration of naloxone
Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support
Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support, or ACLS, builds on the basics of BLS and is geared toward medical professionals dealing with a patient in cardiovascular distress. There are many different types of ACLS algorithms, and they are typically performed inside the hospital though they may be performed by paramedics as well.
These algorithms include:
- ACLS Bradycardia for patients with bradycardia, or a heart rate that’s too slow
- ACLS Tachycardia, for patients with tachycardia or an elevated heart rate
- ACLS In-Hospital Cardiac Arrest in Pregnancy for pregnant patients
- ACLS Cardiac Arrest PEA and Asystole for patients who no longer have a pulse or electrical activity within the heart and therefore cannot be shocked
- ACLS Cardiac Arrest VTach and VFib for patients in ventricular tachycardia or fibrillation
- ACLS Post Cardiac Arrest Care Algorithm for after the patient has returned to spontaneous circulation post-cardiac arrest
- ACLS Acute Coronary Syndrome for patients with reduced blood flow to the heart due to acute coronary syndrome conditions
Pediatric Advanced Life Support
Pediatric Advanced Life Support, or PALS, are algorithms and procedures for child patients. The PALS sequence algorithm is similar to that of pediatric basic life support. It involves assessing the child’s level of consciousness, breathing, and color and administering CPR and/or AED if necessary.
Other types of PALS algorithms include:
- PALS Cardiac Arrest for child patients in cardiac arrest
- PALS Post Arrest Shock Management for child shock victims who have been resuscitated
- PALS Bradycardia for children with slow heart rates
- PALS Tachycardia Initial Management for children with a high heart rate
- PALS Tachycardia Poor Perfusion for children suffering from tachycardia that is preventing blood from reaching tissues
- PALS Narrow QRS Tachycardia Adequate Perfusion for children who are in tachycardia but have a normal waveform on an ECG and whose tissues are getting adequate blood supply
- PALS Wide QRS Tachycardia Adequate Perfusion for tachycardic children whose tissues are getting adequate blood but who have a wide waveform on an ECG
The Importance of Timely Intervention
In many cases, timely intervention is crucial for a patient’s survival. The human body cannot survive without blood and oxygen, and every minute that blood is not able to circulate damages tissue. Consider:
- Without CPR, cardiac arrests can be fatal within eight minutes.
- Without CPR, cardiac arrests can cause brain damage within five minutes.
- By ten minutes, the chances of resuscitation are slim.
- Hypoxia, or a lack of blood to the brain, can cause memory loss, loss of muscle control, loss of mobility, impaired speech, personality changes, and disorientation.
- For ischemic strokes or strokes caused by blood clots, the patient must be given clot-dissolving medication within three hours.
- Internal bleeding can cause death within six hours.
- Brain bleeding can cause death within twelve hours.
- Shock from severe burns can set in within six hours.
- Sepsis can kill within twelve hours.
- Anaphylaxis can kill in less than fifteen minutes.
- Some spiders can kill within fifteen minutes.
- Some snakes can kill within twenty minutes.
Whether due to cardiac arrest, stroke, choking, drowning, or anything else, once the brain stops receiving oxygen, the patient is on borrowed time. These life-saving algorithms are designed to help both bystanders and medical professionals get the patient oxygen as quickly and safely as possible.
Even in situations that don’t necessarily involve the administration of CPR or an AED, time is of the essence. Things like anaphylaxis and venomous bites can kill in under half an hour, and patients need to get to a hospital immediately. Training in the BLS or ALCS algorithms allows for a faster and more thorough response.
Training and Certification for Medical Intervention
Here at the American Medical Resource Institute, or AMRI, we offer certification for BLS, ALCS, and PALS. We provide you with necessary study materials as well as certification courses.
Our BLS certification course is available for medical professionals and those in other industries needing life support skills. Our curriculum includes:
- How to properly administer CPR on patients of all ages
- Chest compressions, airway, breathing
- How to open the airway and administer rescue breaths
- How to use an AED
- Methods for assisting a choking patient
Some hospitals require all medical staff to be ACLS-certified, while others only require certified staff in specific departments such as the emergency room or cardiac care units. Our course covers:
- Airway, oxygen, and emergency ventilation
- Ventricular fibrillation
- Asystole and PEA
- Bradycardia and AV blocks
- Special resuscitation situations
- Acute coronary syndromes
- Ethics, futility, and advanced directives
For those working in pediatric departments or clinics or those working in emergency rooms, a PALS certification will be necessary. Our PALS curriculum includes:
- Pediatric respiratory distress
- Pediatric respiratory failure
- Pediatric shock
- Pediatric tachycardias
- Pediatric cardiac arrest
- Pediatric post-resuscitation management
Why Get Certified Through AMRI
There are many institutions out there that can get you certified for your BLS, ACLS, and PALS. So why choose us?
- We are nationally accredited
- Based on the most recent AHA guidelines
- Instant certification card and CE certificate
- Full access to our case study library
- Online review and practice questions, including case studies
- Free exam review and retake
- 100% money-back guarantee for up to one year if your employer does not accept your certification
- Access on computer, tablet, or smartphone
- No time limit; study at your own pace
- Extensive customer support
Our reviews also put us a step ahead of competitors. We average 4.9 stars, with 98% of our customers giving us a four or five-star rating. Our customers are thrilled by our convenience, informative study materials, and the overall organization of our courses.
How to Get Certified Through AMRI
We try to make our certification process as easy and painless as possible. Certification includes four steps:
- Register for the certification course you need
- Study the course materials we provide, including case studies and practice questions
- Take the online exam. If you don’t pass the first time, you can review the areas you struggled with and retake the test.
- Keep your certification current when we let you know it’s time to renew
We also offer a Group Savings Program for our BLS, ACLS, and PALS programs. This is an excellent way to get your entire team certified, with discounts as much as 40% off.
Timely intervention is the key to saving lives, especially in cases of cardiovascular events. The longer someone goes without oxygen, the more damage their brain and other tissues take. When medical personnel are appropriately trained for these situations, they can react in a timely manner and save lives.