Advanced cardiac life support or advanced cardiovascular life support (ACLS) refers to a set of clinical interventions for the urgent treatment of cardiac arrest, stroke and other life-threatening medical emergencies, as well as the knowledge and skills to deploy those interventions.
AHA’s ACLS Course has been updated to reflect new science in the 2015 American Heart Association Guidelines Update for CPR and Emergency Cardiovascular Care (2015 AHA Guidelines for CPR and ECC). This course builds on the foundation of lifesaving BLS skills, emphasizing the importance of continuous, high-quality CPR.
This advanced course highlights the importance of high-performance team dynamics and communication,systems of care, recognition and intervention of cardiopulmonary arrest, immediate post-cardiac arrest, acute dysrhythmia, stroke, and acute coronary syndromes (ACS).
Healthcare professionals who either direct or participate in the management of cardiopulmonaryarrest or other cardiovascular emergencies. This includes personnel in emergency response,emergency medicine, intensive care, and critical care units such as physicians,nurses, and paramedics.
This case presents the recommended assessment, intervention, and management options for a patient in respiratory arrest. The patient is unresponsive and unconscious. Respirations are absent or inadequate to maintain effective oxygenation and ventilation. The patient has a pulse. Even though the patient is in respiratory arrest and not in cardiac arrest, the BLS Primary Survey and the ACLS Secondary Survey are used.
Acute Coronary Syndromes Algorithm
The Acute Coronary Syndromes Algorithm guide the assessment and management of patients with signs and symptoms of acute coronary syndromes. A key focus of the case is the identification and treatment of ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI). You use a 12-lead ECG to evaluate the patient’s rhythm.
Your task for this case is to assess and manage a patient in cardiac arrest who has pulseless electrical activity (PEA). Although the ECG shows organized cardiac electrical activity, the patient is unresponsive with no palpable pulse. Because finding and identifying an underlying cause is critical to patient outcome, the team searches for possible causes for PEA as they administer CPR.
VF/Pulseless VT Algorithm
The ACLS Cardiac Arrest VTach and VFib Algorithm describes the systematic assessment and management of ventricular tachycardia and ventricular fibrillation including the recommended energy dosages when using monophasic and biphasic defibrillators.
The ACLS Bradycardia Algorithm contains the steps you will need to follow when you encounter a patient who has symptomatic bradycardia. Learn when to treat bradycardia, and when not to treat it. One of your tasks is to figure out if the patient’s signs and symptoms are caused by the slow heart rate or have an unrelated cause. Another task is to correctly diagnose the presence and type of atrioventricular (AV) block and implement the correct management strategies for AV blocks.
Patients with elevated heart rates and a palpable pulse require assessment and interventions. These interventions vary depending on whether the patient is stable or unstable. Review the ACLS Tachycardia Algorithm for the adult patient with tachycardia. Your tasks are to classify the tachycardia as narrow or wide, regular or irregular, and to implement the appropriate interventions from the ACLS Tachycardia Algorithm, including vagal maneuvers and adenosine.
Suspected Stroke Algorithm
This case presents the identification (Cincinnati Prehospital Stroke Scale) and initial management of patients with acute ischemic stroke, a sudden change in neurological function brought on by a change in blood flow to the brain.
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On successful completion of our Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support Course requirements, you will be awarded with an ACLS Course Completion Card.
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