Advanced cardiac life support also known as ACLS is defined as clinical interventions for the immediate treatment of cardiac arrest and other life threatening medical emergencies. For years CPR was was a standard of care for saving lives. A rise in survival rates resulted as more and more people became familiar with this concept of chest compressions and artificial ventilation. Combined now with ACLS that rate has significantly increased.With the combined efforts of CPR and ACLS we not only have the ability to save brain functions but also decrease neurological deficits.
The first step of ACLS is to analyze a patients rhythm with a manual defibrillator, then the insertion of intravenous lines are necessary in order to introduce such drugs/medications as epinephrine, atropine, and amioddarone. . You would then need to implement various airway devices. Possible causes of cardiac arrest are then assessed and more specific treatments are given based on the findings. This can include medication introduction through the IV as we stated earlier, or in a surgical aspect a chest tube can be implemented. While all these steps are carried out, chest compressions should be continued with minimal interruptions.
ACLS courses are very important especially if you are a health care professional such as a nurse, physician, emergency medical technician, paramedic, respiratory therapist, work in an intensive care unit of a hospital, working in an emergency critical care department, or any other health care professional. Some of the topics covered in these courses are airway management, rhythm recognition, intravenous access, and use of medications, first rescuer CPR and the use of an automated external defibrillator.
Advanced cardiac life support is a very important aspect of health care to understand and be able to provide to a patient. Some of the key concepts you may learn in an ACLS class are ACLS algorithms, managing cardiac arrests, the importance of life support care for patient survival, recognizing and initiating life saving techniques, and early management of peri-arrest conditions, how to recognize stroke or other life threatening cardiac situations, and identifying and treating ischemic chest pain and acute coronary symptoms. Many agencies have upgraded from basic life support to advanced cardiac life support due to the increased survival rates. A victim has approximately 4-6 minutes to be resuscitated once cardiac arrest is present. The medical community has come to realize that ACLS saves lives and increases the chance of saving lives.