Advanced cardiac life support or advanced cardiovascular life support (ACLS) refers to a set of clinical interventions for the urgent treatment of cardiac arrest, stroke and other life-threatening medical emergencies, as well as the knowledge and skills to deploy those interventions.
Only qualified health care providers can provide ACLS, as it requires the ability to manage the patient's airway, initiate IV access, read and interpret electrocardiograms, and understand emergency pharmacology; these include physicians (MDs and DOs, pharmacists (PharmDs), dentists (DDS and DMDs), advanced practice providers (PAs and NPs), respiratory therapists (RTs), nurses (RNs), paramedics (EMT-Ps) and advanced emergency medical technicians (AEMTs). Other emergency responders may also be trained.
BCLS stands for Basic Cardiac Life Support. The initials of AHA stand for American Heart Association. BLS ability to recognize several life-threatening emergencies, provide CPR, use an AED, and relieve choking in a safe, timely and effective manner. The course is intended for certified or noncertified, licensed or nonlicensed healthcare professionals.
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