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AHA Basic Life Support (BLS) for Healthcare Professionals

The American Heart Association's Basic Life Support (BLS) Course is a recognized standard training program for healthcare professionals in medical clinics and hospitals around the country. The American Heart Association (AHA) is a leader in emergency cardiac care. The AHA collects data on every response to a cardiac arrest to identify outcomes and makes changes to protocols, using these evidence-based practices. Requiring renewal every 2-years, clinicians at all levels complete a minimum of 4 hours of didactic and skills evaluations. Other options include virtual lectures for didactic requirements; however, hands-on skills evaluations must be completed prior to issuance of the certification card.

We were honored to deliver the first of several BLS courses to Pre-Health Sciences majors attending the University of New Orleans in February. The course included students enrolled in Pre-Physician Assistant, Pre-Dental, and Pre-Medicine programs of study. The BLS course served as a great introduction to the clinical aspects of what the students are learning in their college classes. After course completion, the students reported feeling thoroughly prepared to respond to a cardiac related emergency at their homes or on campus. In fact, the American Heart Association reports that a cardiac related death occurs every 90 seconds and without prompt recognition and cardiopulmonary resuscitation, chances of survival decrease substantially. Based on their written evaluations and skills testing, we are confident these students will be able to increase the survivability of a victim of cardiac arrest when faced with that scenario.

During the course, students were introduced to the AHA Chain of Survival, which consists of a series of events that must occur to increase the likelihood of survival after a cardiac arrest. To begin with, early recognition is key, followed by activation of the emergency response system, then high-quality CPR. Early defibrillation is also important as CPR alone, is ineffective in addressing a lethal cardiac rhythm. Students learn several other steps within the chain of survival and most of the course focuses on high quality CPR and delivery of shocks using an automated external defibrillator. Once adult CPR has been learned, the course quickly progresses to performing these skills on children and infants. After learning and performing skills evaluations on the children and infants, the course is concluded with a 25 question written exam in which students must score at least an 84% on to obtain certification.

On student stated his reason for attending the course was in preparation to respond to an emergency instead of standing on the sidelines feeling helpless. With a cardiac arrest occurring every 90 seconds, we're proud to have contributed to the education and training of at least eight responders to increase the chances of the victims making a favorable recovery. If you would like to make a difference in your community through health literacy improvement or emergency preparedness, we would love to have you join us. Please click the picture to get started. #neighboring

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