Basic life support (BLS) is the type of medical care provided by health professionals to persons experiencing cardiac arrest, obstructed airway or respiratory arrest such as cases of choking and drowning. The procedures involved in BLS include relieving obstructed airway, CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation), the use of automated external defibrillator (AED). The elements of basic life support include circulation, airway and breathing (CAB). Research places emphasis on providing chest compressions as the airway brings about delay which might cost the life of the victim.
Basic life support refers to the assistance professional first responders give to victims with an obstructed airway, respiratory distress and those with cardiac arrest. These skills require the knowledge of CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation), AED (automated defibrillator) skills and knowledge of relieving airway obstruction.
The ABC of Basic Life Support
The ABC are abbreviations for Airway, Breathing and Compressions. It refers to the sequence of events in BLS. The aim of ABC procedure is to ensure that the victim should receive proper CPR within the shortest time possible. Research findings by the American Heart Association show that beginning the chest compressions earlier improves the victim’s chances of survival. Responders should not take more than 10seconds checking for a pulse. Wherever in doubt, bystanders should begin CPR. There is little harm likely to occur if the victim is not in need of CPR. Earlier CPR procedures advised for listening and feeling for breathing; which might take more time for non medical professionals. If the victim is unresponsive, gasping for air or without a pulse, it’s best to begin CPR within the he shortest time possible.