cpr select logo

Know The 5 Basic Life Saving Skills

Know The Basic Life Saving Skills


February 18, 2017

Table of Contents

We don’t know when we’ll find ourselves in a situation where we need to use an automated external defibrillator (AED), administer cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), or assist another person with other basic life saving skills. In fact, these situations do occur, and it’s better to be prepared for them, so you know how to respond quickly and effectively. BLS training is essential knowledge for anyone to have so they can provide care to other people in an emergency. In addition to calling 911, the following is an overview of the key skills that are covered in BLS training:

1. Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation

CPR is one of the most critical emergency medical procedures. It can be performed on anyone who has collapsed, even if you’re not sure whether they’re under cardiopulmonary arrest. When someone’s heart stops, it is no longer pumping blood and oxygen to the major organs in the body. CPR manually performs this function when the heart is unable to do so. Do chest compressions, about two inches down, at a rate of about 100 beats per minute. Continue to perform CPR until emergency medical services arrive and they can take over. CPR must be administered right away – performing it within the first minutes of a cardiac arrest can significantly increase a victim’s chance of survival.

2. Use of Automated External Defibrillator

An AED works to restart a person’s heart after it has stopped due to a cardiac arrest. AEDs are widely available in public places, such as malls, schools, hospitals, airports, and train stations. If you witness someone under cardiac arrest, dial 911, then seek out the nearest automated external defibrillator. The voice automation feature will verbally walk you through how to use the device and guide you in providing the proper care techniques to the victim. The sooner you use an AED on a cardiac arrest victim, the more likely they will survive once an ambulance arrives.

3. Treating Wounds

When treating severe cuts, the most important goal is to stop the bleeding. Wash your hands and put gloves on before treating a wound. Have the person lie down and cover them with a blanket. Elevate the injured area to be above the heart and examine the wound. Wrap the cut with a cloth or bandage and apply continuous pressure for 20 minutes. Avoid releasing the pressure to check on the bleeding. If the bleeding doesn’t stop, apply pressure to the nearest artery. Main arteries are located behind the knee, in groin, inner arm above the elbow, and below the underarm. To compress an artery, press the area against the bone with one hand and continue to apply pressure to the wound with the other hand at the same time.

4. Choking

When a person is choking and cannot breathe, begin by delivering five blows to their back with the heel of your hand. This may be enough to dislodge the food or object that is caught. If not, you’ll need to perform the Heimlich maneuver to clear their airway. Begin by standing behind the victim, wrapping your arms around their torso, and placing a fist between their ribcage and belly button. Take hold of your hand with your other hand and quickly pull your fist towards you in a quick upward thrusting motion. Continue until the object is dislodged. The Heimlich maneuver is intended for use on adults – there are different techniques for infants and children that can be learned as part of a BLS certification course.

5. Burns

Victims with severe burns should be treated in the hospital as soon as possible, but less severe injuries are treatable by running the affected area under cold water for 10 minutes. Do not apply any creams or ointments directly to the skin. Instead, let it air dry and do not wrap the area. Acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil) can be administered to help with the pain. Extensive burns or those that affect more than the surface layer of the skin should be treated at the nearest hospital.

Frequently Asked Questions About Basic Life Support

What’s the difference between EMTs and  Paramedics?

The difference between EMTs and paramedics is in their level of training and the kind of procedures they are allowed to perform. For example, EMTs can administer CPR, glucose, and oxygen, while paramedics can perform more complicated procedures such as inserting IV lines and administering drugs.

Do healthcare professionals need BLS training?
Yes. BLS training for healthcare providers and medical professionals offers skills and knowledge they need to sustain, revive, or resuscitate a person experiencing a cardiac emergency. 

Is BLS the same as first aid?
First aid is the primary aid given to individuals suffering from minor and life-threatening conditions. Thus, while BLS skills broadly fall into first aid, BLS and first aid training are not the same. BLS classes will not cover giving stitches, addressing minor injuries, or other topics covered in first aid training. 

 Can I take BLS training online?
Yes. BLS online certifications are easy to access and easy to complete. All you need to do is make sure you have internet access, pc, tablet, or smartphone. You can also purchase additional course materials online.


The above techniques are just some of the critical skills learned in a BLS training course. Drowning, fire safety, allergic anaphylactic reactions, and other essential techniques are covered in BLS certification courses, designed to give individuals, including healthcare providers, the tools required to react to emergencies and save lives. Whether it’s online training, skills session training, classroom training, or blended learning, completing a BLS training program enhance your knowledge so you can help those around you in a wide variety of emergency situation. You will learn single rescuer and team basic life support skills for application in pre-hospital and facility environments, focusing on high-quality CPR and team dynamics.