ACLS training is a program for people who work in healthcare, particularly healthcare professionals. Only people who have valid Basic Life Support for HCPs training certificates will be allowed to sign up for ACLS training (or Advanced Life Support training in general). We also require the trainees to pass a pre-test before they can continue with the training program. To register for an ACLS course near you click here.
ACLS stands for Advanced Cardiac Life Support, a concept of advanced CPR given to adult victims. The term advanced means that only healthcare providers can take this program. Advanced management involves the use of medication, diagnostic examinations, equipment – things that can only be found in a hospital or a similar, organized medical environment.
ACLS is very different from basic training (Basic Life Support) because it involves all the links in the Chain of Survival, from recognition of cardiac arrest to post-cardiac arrest care. The use of medical management has also been studied and shown to improve patient outcomes, compared to just compressions and rescue breaths.
Ventilation during CPR
When a person is being given CPR, this condition is characterized by low blood flow. Because it is not a problem of poor oxygen saturation in the blood, rescue breaths aren’t as important as chest compressions. This is why the guidelines in 2010 were updated to show that 30 chest compressions should be given before 2 rescue breaths. Also, the importance of minimal interruption when the compressions are being given is emphasized.
The use of an advanced airway (intubation) is quite common in the hospital setting as well. The endotracheal tube prevents the tongue from blocking the airway as well as promotes better delivery of rescue breaths to the lungs. All healthcare providers should have training in delivering ventilation through an advanced airway. Also, trained ACLS providers should also be able to insert an advanced airway.
The breaths are facilitated by a bag valve mask that is secured on the tube, and is squeezed fully for every breath given. If there is no ET tube available, the bag valve mask can be secured over the lower patient’s mouth and chin.
The ACLS program
Our ACLS program is available in all six of our training locations, located over six cities in five states. It is completed over two days, 16 class hours in total. It covers:
- Chest compressions using a backboard
- Rescue breaths through an advanced airway and bag valve masks
- Electrocardiography (ECG)
- Ventilatory equipment
- Medication administration for adults
It is a certification course with an exam at the end of training that the trainee has to pass. The certificate that our trainees receive are valid for 24 months before it expires. These credentials can only be renewed through re-certification classes. The ACLS re-certification class is five to six hours long. Remember to renew your credentials before it expires. We do not allow rescuers with expired certificates to take a re-certification class.