Where many people have heard of CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) before and know how to do it, BLS (basic life support) is something that is much less common. For anyone that is aware of it, they may ask how it differs from CPR and that is a good question.
This is a procedure that is performed on those people whose heart has stopped working in order to save their life. Whilst the chest compression component of It was first developed back in the 1960s, the mouth to mouth breathing component has been used for centuries and involves blowing short, sharp bursts of air into the mouth of the patient in order to keep the oxygen continuously moving throughout their body. The chest compressions work to keep the heart of the patient beating until a trained medical professional reaches the scene. By performing CPR, you are greatly increasing the probability that the heart will respond in the right way to a defibrillator.
Becoming CPR certified is available to anyone that wants to do it and, in fact, in some professions may be required as a prerequisite in getting a job with an employer.
This includes instruction on how to perform CPR, as well as many other higher grade medical techniques and procedures that can be administered in the case of an emergency. By giving basic life saving care you are providing the patient with sufficient medical attention whilst they are experiencing a cardiac arrest or respiratory distress until they reach a clinic or hospital. When learning BLS, you will cover, in detail, how to perform an initial assessment, maintain the airways, and perform CPR.
Although BLS is geared towards medical professionals, such as paramedics, qualified bystanders, public safety professionals, first responders, and healthcare providers, it is in fact open for anyone to learn. This is the best place to go for BLS certification classes.
CPR Vs. BLS
CPR is always taught in any BLS training class given the fact that it is aimed at trained healthcare professionals who already possess an in depth knowledge of medicine and healthcare as a whole. BLS content even goes into providing techniques and advice for those situations where you are a sole rescuer, how to assess a patient, the legal considerations, and what precautions you need to take, along with basic lifesaving skills. In addition to all of this you will also learn how to treat burns and open wounds, how to handle poisonings, and what to do with fractured / broken bones.
Gaining a BLS certification is not necessary for most people (especially members of the public), as a simple CPR certification provides enough life saving skills to be able to care for someone at home, at work, or out in public. Where it is necessary is for those people working in the field of healthcare (inc. dentistry) as it gives them the skills to be able to handle a medical emergency outside of a hospital or clinic setting. It may also be a mandatory requirement to possess this level of accreditation in order to gain employment.