AHA HeartCode BLS is an American Heart Association online Basic Life Support for Healthcare Providers Course.
After completing the online portion, students attend a structured BLS Hands-On Session with an AHA Instructor. This session focuses on meaningful skills practice, debriefing, team scenarios, discussions of local protocols, and skills testing. Where available, students may also complete the hands-on session with a voice-assisted manikin (VAM).
HeartCode BLS is for healthcare professionals seeking an alternative method for completing an initial or renewal BLS Course.
AHA BLS Basic Life Support for Healthcare Providers Hands On Skills Practice and Testing Session (also known as Heartcode BLS Parts 2 and 3) is a classroom course where learners first practice and then are tested by performing CPR, and using an AED. (This is for people who have taken the course online, but still need to take the hands on testing to be certified).
Saving American Hearts, Inc 6165 Lehman Drive Suite 202 Colorado Springs, Colorado 80918 (719) 551-1222
You will first practice and then be tested on the following skills:
1-Rescuer CPR and AED for adult, child and infant
2-Rescuer CPR and AED for adult, child and infant
Bag-mask techniques for adult, child and infant
Critical concepts of high-quality CPR
Differences between adult, child and infant rescue techniques
Key changes in basic life support, reflecting the new science from the 2015 American Heart Association Guidelines for Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation and Emergency Cardiovascular Care
Relief of choking for adult, child and infant
Rescue breathing for adult, child and infant
The American Heart Association Chain of Survival
CPR with an advanced airway*
* This is an introduction to the compression/ventilation rate and ratio for a patient who has an advanced airway in place. For more information on advanced airways, please refer to the Airway Management Course.BLS Skills Session
If you have completed an Online American Heart Association BLS Course called BLS Heartcode Part 1, then you may take a BLS Skills Session course. All written testing is done online and you will now only need to complete the hands on testing. This class typically takes from 30 minutes to 45 minutes or even an hour just depending on how much hands on practice is needed before the hands on testing is done.
Once you are done you will get your American Heart Association BLS for Healthcare Providers Card via email within 24 to 48 hours after class.
This option is listed on the AHA website as BLS Skills Session.
You must bring your online completion certificate with you to class. If you have issues with printing, you may take a picture of the certificate and text it to: (719) 551-1222. Just make sure you get the entire certificate in the picture, especially the name of the person and the certificate number near the bottom of the page.
Upon successful completion of the class, students will receive an American Heart Association BLS Provider Card via email from the instructor's training center. This certification is good for 2 years.
Basic Life Support for Healthcare Providers (BLS) Study Guide:
WHEN YOU FIND AN UNCONSCIOUS ADULT
Assess scene safety. Always assess scene safety first. If the scene is not safe, it is reasonable to withhold resuscitation efforts.
Tap and shout "Hey are you ok?"
Assess pulse and breathing. (No longer than 10 seconds). If there is no breathing, or only gasping: Activate the Emergency Response System and get an AED. If others are around, yell for help and send someone to get the AED.
Check a carotid pulse. Check for at least 5 seconds but no more than 10. If there is no pulse or you are not sure if you feel a pulse, begin chest compressions.
Compress at a depth of at least 2 inches or 5 cm for adults and children.
Compress at a rate of at least 100-120 compressions per minute. Push hard and fast.
Make sure you allow the chest to completely recoil between compressions.
After 30 compressions, give 2 breaths. If there is no suspected head or neck injury: Perform a "head tilt chin lift" and give 2 breaths. If you suspect a neck injury: Perform a "jaw thrust" to open the airway and deliver 2 breaths.
Give each breath over 1 second watching for chest rise. Do not give large breaths. You want to see the chest just begin to rise. If you give breaths that are too large, all that extra air will go into the stomach. After several large breaths, the pressure will begin to increase in stomach which will then crush the lungs, heart and the diaphragm making it more difficult to save your patient and they will most likely vomit.
Give cycles of 30 compressions and 2 breaths.
5 cycles = two minutes
After 2 minutes, reassess the pulse. If there is no pulse, resume chest compressions and breaths for 2 more minutes. Every two minutes check a pulse.
If you are not alone, switch roles every two minutes. The person giving compressions will now maintain the airway and give breaths. The person who was giving breaths will now take over chest compressions.
ONCE THE AED ARRIVES
When an AED arrives, use it.
Turn on the AED. It may take up to 5-15 seconds to warm up.
Follow the instructions given by the AED. Continue chest compressions and breaths while listening to the AED.
Place the pads on the patient following the pictures on the pads for correct placement. If you are not alone, continue chest compressions and have someone else place the pads.
When the AED says "ANALYZING RHYTHM, DO NOT TOUCH THE PATIENT" make sure no one is touching the patient, not even the person giving breaths.
If the AED says "SHOCK ADVISED, CHARGING" continue chest compressions while the AED is charging.
When the AED is charged, clear the patient and deliver the shock. Immediately resume chest compressions. Begin with 30 compressions and 2 breaths. Complete 5 cycles of 30 compressions and 2 breaths. When 2 minutes have passed, the AED will automatically reanalyze the rhythm.
If the AED says: "NO SHOCK ADVISED" you do not check a pulse, you immediately resume CPR for 2 more minutes. Continue these steps until more advanced help arrives.
Every time the AED reanalyzes the rhythm, the person giving compressions should trade places with the person giving breaths. This is very important, even if you are not tired. Your first several compressions are good and strong but as time passes, you will begin to get tired and your compressions will be less effective, even if you don't feel yourself getting tired. You need a two minute rest so that you can begin again nice and fresh.
Always assess scene safety first.
If the scene is not safe, it is reasonable to withhold resuscitation efforts. If you find someone unconscious in the middle of the street and run out to save them and get hit by a car, the situation just got worse and now there are two people needing to be saved.
The American Heart Association now recommends C.A.B. Instead of A.B.C. When a cardiac arrest happens, there is usually enough oxygen in the blood stream to sustain life, but it must circulate throughout the body. So the most important step to begin with is chest compressions, not rescue breaths. Beginning with chest compressions is the easiest step for bystanders to perform. It will only delay rescue breaths by about 18 seconds.
An AED only detects 2 particular heart rhythms. They are Ventricular Fibrillation or V-Fib and Pulseless Ventricular Tachycardia or Pulseless V-Tach. If the AED detects either of these rhythms it will deliver a shock.
The biggest misconception people have is that when you shock someone, you jump start the heart just like you would jump start a car. This is not true. When the heart is in Ventricular Fibrillation or Pulseless Ventricular Tachycardia the heart is quivering. The heart is getting told to contract too fast, from too many different cells that it can't possibly keep up and just begins to vibrate. Almost like seeing someone on TV having a seizure. The heart just vibrates. The only way to correct all the over stimulation is to stop all of the electricity in the heart. For example: My computer gets a virus. The first thing I want to do is pull the cord from the wall and stop the virus. I don't want to start opening other programs and get them running too. The same goes for V-Fib and Pulseless V-Tach.
The shock stops the heart completely, giving it a chance to start over and hopefully produce a normal organized rhythm. So if defibrillating actually stops the heart, do you see why shocking someone in asystole doesn't make any sense? Why shock someone to stop the heart, when their heart is already stopped.
Always allow the chest to completely recoil when doing compressions. Say there was a small fire, and you had a water bottle full of water. Would it make sense to squeeze tiny amounts out really really fast? Or, would it make more sense to give the bottle a good squeeze and force out as much water as you can at one time, and repeat? When you compress the chest, it squeezes a small amount of blood out. By letting the chest completely recoil with each compression, more blood is squeezed out with every compression.
A CHILD is considered to be 1 year old, up to puberty. (Not an age, but physical signs of puberty) For lone rescuers, to provide child CPR, use one hand instead of two and compress 2 inches = 5 cm (The same as an adult) or compress 1/3 the depth of the chest. Deliver 30 compressions and 2 breaths.
An INFANT is 0 to 1 year old.
For lone rescuers, to provide infant CPR, use two fingers on the lower half of the breastbone and compress 1 1/2 inches = 4 cm or 1/3 the depth of the chest. Deliver 30 compressions and 2 breaths.
MAJOR DIFFERENCES IN CHILD AND INFANT CPR:
Over puberty is treated as an adult. Puberty is not defined by age, but instead by physical appearance.
For boys: If there is any chest hair, or underarm hair present, they are considered an adult. You can not use facial hair (either beard or mustache or "peach fuzz") to determine puberty. Some little boys sneak in the bathroom and shave their face like daddy, and they get facial hair before puberty.)
For girls: Look for signs of breast development. If any breast development is present they are considered an adult. So, if you had a 10 year old girl who happens to be pregnant, she has hit puberty and is treated as an adult.
When there are TWO RESCUERS, and the child us UNDER PUBERTY
the compression to ventilation ratio changes to 15:2 (Now, 10 cycles is 2 minutes - Check the pulse every two minutes )
For infant compressions with two rescuers, encircle your hands around the infant's chest and provide the compressions using your thumbs over the lower half of the breastbone. Compress at least 1 1/2 inches = 4 cm or 1/3 the depth of the chest.
DIFFERENCES WITH AN AED USED ON CHILDREN AND INFANTS
Some AEDs have Adult and Pediatric pads. Pediatric pads should be used on anyone 8 yrs and under. If pediatric pads are not available you should use the adult pads on an infant or child. For a child, place the pads the same way you would on an adult. Make sure the pads do not touch, or overlap.
For an infant, place one pad in the center of the chest, and one pad on the back in the center. If you can remember, "baby sandwich". Pads used on infants under 1 year old are always placed front and back whether you are using pediatric or adult pads.
Adult pads can be used on an infant under 1 year old if you only have adult pads. A burned baby is better than a dead baby, and if a shock is needed it must be delivered.
Never cut the adult pads in half. This will leave a bare metal edge which will allow the shock to arc and shock someone else.
For an adult, give 1 breath every 5-6 seconds or 10 - 12 breaths/min.
For a child/infant, give 1 breath every 3-5 seconds this is 12-20 breaths/min.
Children run faster than adults, so they must breathe faster too.
If an advanced airway (ETT) is in place regardless of age deliver one breath every 6 seconds. If someone has an advanced airway in place, they will not be conscious. If the person is "sleeping" they will not need to breathe as fast as an adult or child and is the slowest rate of all. Only 1 breath every 6.
When an advanced airway is used, compressions must be stopped until the tube in placed in the airway. Once it is in place, provide continuous chest compressions without pauses for the breaths. (The tubes are very stiff and firm, slightly flexible. But they are firm enough and long enough to allow oxygen to pass through them effectively while someone is pushing down and compressing the chest.
WHEN TO CALL FOR HELP AND WHEN TO START COMPRESSIONS
If an adult, check responsiveness, tap and shout "hey, are you ok ?"
Check for breathing and pulse for no longer than 10 seconds: if no breathing activate emergency response system and yell for someone near by to get an AED. Begin chest compressions at a rate of 30:2 For an adult, the compression to ventilation ratio is always 30:2 with 1, or more than 1 rescuer.
If the victim is UNDER PUBERTY, and there are 2 rescuers, begin 15:2
IF they are UNDER PUBERTY and the arrest is witnessed, GET HELP FIRST then return to the child and begin with compressions. Provide 2 minutes of CPR and check a pulse.
When you see a child collapse, (WITNESSED) you know their last breath and last heartbeat was just now. Their blood oxygen level should be pretty high. So get help first. If there are others around, send someone to get help and get and AED.
If you find a child who has collapsed and it was not witnessed, you have no idea if their blood oxygen level is adequate, so provide 2 minutes of CPR and get their blood oxygen level back up, then leave the child and go get help. If there are others around, send someone to get help and get and AED.
IF the arrest is NOT witnessed, Begin 2 minutes of CPR, go get help and an AED and return to the child. Begin cycles of 30 compressions and 2 breaths if you are alone. Check a pulse every 2 minutes.
If there are two rescuers and the child is under puberty, begin cycles of 15 compressions and 2 breaths. Check a pulse every 10 cycles or 2 minutes.
ONE MORE VERY IMPORTANT THING ABOUT KIDS
If the child is UNDER PUBERTY AND HAS A PULSE OF 60 or less BEGIN CHEST COMPRESSIONS.
Only perform chest compressions if they show signs of poor perfusion.
Are they cold, are their fingers or lips blue, does their color just not look right? Are there any signs the child is not getting enough blood supply and oxygen? If you see these signs, BEGIN CHEST COMPRESSIONS. DO NOT DELAY.
For an adult or child, wrap your hands around the victim's waist and begin abdominal thrusts until the victim becomes unconscious or the foreign object is removed.
For an infant, lay them over your forearm supporting the infant's head and neck and begin 5 back slaps (Be sure to cradle the infant face down with head lower than the rest of the body). Turn the infant over and begin 5 chest thrusts (just as you would chest compressions). Continue with 5 back slaps and 5 chest compressions until the object is removed or the infant becomes unconscious.
Once an adult, child or infant becomes unconscious, do not continue to treat them as a chocking victim. Lay them on a hard flat surface and begin Basic Life Support.
Start by tapping and shouting "Hey, Are you Ok ?"
Assess breathing and pulse for no longer than 10 seconds, if no breathing or only gasping, activate emergency response and get an AED.
Begin chest compressions. Before giving breaths, look in the mouth for the obstructing object.
If you can see the object, try to remove it. Do not perform a blind finger sweep.
Attempt to give 2 rescue breaths. If the chest does not rise, reposition the airway and attempt again.
If the chest does not rise, begin chest compressions. Between chest compressions and rescue breath attempts, it is hoped that the back and forth motions will move the object one way or the other.
Continue as long as you can and just know, that you cannot continue CPR forever. There may be a time when it is just not humanly possible to continue for hours and hours, nor would you want to continue CPR on someone for that length of time.
The chances of successfully reviving someone without significant brain damage after an extended amount of time is very slim.
In some circumstances of extreme cold weather or drowning in cold water, CPR should be continued until the person arrives at the hospital. The cold will slow their oxygen demand and slow their heart rate.
Depending on the circumstances there is a fair chance of a good outcome if the person is cold. So continue CPR as long as you can. But, remember, you are only human. You can not expect to perform CPR for hours on end. There will be a time that you can not humanly continue, and it is ok to stop CPR.