The content in this handbook is in compliance with the latest 2020 guidelines recently released by the American Heart Association (AHA). All the protocols illustrated here are based on up-to-date evidence. These guidelines are updated every 5 years. This handbook is designed for all medical professionals who undergo ACLS training. It aims to establish a sound understanding of the principles of ACLS, and the latest guidelines.
Cardiac arrest remains one of the most common causes of death, both in and out-of-hospital settings. Each day, many lives are saved because of the application of the principles of Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS). ACLS represents a series of memorized steps which, when performed in sequence, can greatly improve survival rates of patients who have respiratory and/or cardiac arrest.
While Basic Life Support (BLS) can be studied and performed by all lay people, anybody who works in the medical field is encouraged to become certified in ACLS. ACLS training allows medical personnel to react to emergencies in a reflexive, quick, and coordinated manner. BLS does not require the use of advanced equipment or medication. In contrast, ACLS may require experience in the use of certain equipment and medication, and will require some basic medical skills. This does not mean that ACLS can only be provided within the hospital environment. When properly trained, ACLS providers may combine their skills with available equipment to provide life support at the site of arrest.
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