ADVANCED cardiac life support (ACLS) includes the knowledge and skills necessary to provide the appropriate early treatment for cardiopulmonary arrest. Additional important areas of impact are the proper management of situations likely to lead to cardiac arrest and the stabilization of the patient in the early period following a successful resuscitation. ACLS includes (1) basic life support (BLS); (2) the use of adjunctive equipment and special techniques for establishing and maintaining effective ventilation and circulation; (3) electrocardiographic (ECG) monitoring and arrhythmia recognition; (4) establishment and maintenance of intravenous (IV) access; (5) therapies for emergency treatment of patients with cardiac or respiratory arrests (including stabilization in the postarrest phase); and (6) treatment of patients with suspected acute myocardial infarction (MI). ACLS includes the ability to perform these skills and the knowledge, training, and judgment about when and how to use them.
As many communities as possible should provide complete ACLS. Every
Adult Advanced Cardiac Life Support. JAMA. 1992;268(16):2199–2241. doi:10.1001/jama.1992.03490160069026
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