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Making the Best of the Golden Time with BLS and ACLS

Unbeknownst to us, we play gamble with our lives every day. When you are in good health, odds are in favour of your waking up the next morning, so most of us are oblivious to the rare odds that might be against it. Yet, there is always a small element of uncertainty that we had better keep in a corner of our mind, if not be obsessed with it.

Whether you belong to the medical fraternity or not, your body at least is an object around which the science of healthcare has been built. Just as most of us are trained in the emergencies related to a vehicle, such as replacing a punctured tyre, it is but natural and essential that we arm ourselves with the Basic Life Support knowledge. Basic Life Support or popularly BLS has been made so simple for the layman that it has now become as easy as counting ABC to administer it, literally that is. The first few minutes leading up to a several hours, depending on the condition and cause is termed as the golden time. If a patient can survive this golden time before qualified medical assistance can be administered, it most likely will prevent death. This fact makes the importance of Basic Life Support all the more critical.

The A of ABC corresponds to Airway. When a person is in a condition where he is not in control of himself, it needs to be made sure that the airway is open. It might be done by manually opening the patient’s airway so that breathing is possible. B corresponds to Breathing, where artificial respiration is administered, such as manual insufflation of the lungs by blowing into it.  C corresponds to Circulation. Circulation ensures constant supply of oxygenated blood to the organs and brain, when heart is not able to support the supply. Typically, circulation is ensured until qualified medical help arrives through Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) techniques. American Heart Association has recently changed ABC to CAB, to ensure circulation related assistance is administered first.

Advanced cardiac life support (ACLS) is a process that is adopted in emergency situations involving cardiac arrest, stroke and other life threatening medical emergencies. It is an advanced form of practice, which only qualified health care providers can provide. It involves certain advanced procedure and practice such as IV access, understanding electrocardiograms (ECG) and knowledge of emergency pharmacology. People, who often require to hold ACLS knowledge are physicians, dentists, nurses, pharmacists and paramedics. ACLS includes BLS in addition to advanced knowledge not part of BLS. In 2010, the American Heart Association (AHA) updated guidelines monitoring ACLS practice, and thrust importance on BLS as core of ACLS procedure.

It is important to hold a recognized and approved ACL certification to administer ACLS care. It is a matter of career advancement to healthcare professionals. ACLS Courses ( is a company that makes obtaining an ACL certificate easy and convenient. Once registered for a small fee, candidates can read through the knowledgebase to arm with necessary of details, take practice tests and finally take real test. They are required to obtain a minimum 80% to pass the test and receive certificate. One can take multiple retests at no extra cost. With the changing guidelines, ACLS certified professionals need to recertify, which is also possible with ACLS Courses.

Disclaimer: This article is NOT written by a qualified healthcare professional and serves only as an introduction to BLS and ACLS. It is not to be construed as a reference to them or related practices.

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