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Learning the ACLS algorithms is vital to ACLS training, and most advanced cardiac life support courses will test trainees on the algorithms in some way, shape, or form. Memorizing the most recent ACLS algorithms is particularly important for medical providers directly involved in ACLS management. The algorithms listed below are taken from the latest 2010 ACLS AHA guidelines.
The Acute Coronary Syndromes algorithm details the assessment and management of patients with Acute Coronary Syndromes including patients displaying symptoms suggestive of ischemia or infarction.
The Adult Bradycardia algorithm describes how to assess and manage adult patients who present with symptomatic bradycardia.
The Adult Cardiac Arrest algorithm treats patients who do not respond to the BLS Primary Survey. The algorithm is used for a variety of arrythmias including pulseless VF/VT, PEA, and asystole. At this point the BLS Primary Survey should have been performed, quality CPR initiated, and the emergency medical service should be activated.
The Adult Tachycardia algorithm is used to assess and manage tachycardic patients with a pulse. The first steps of this algorithm involve determining the tachycardic rhythm and verifying if the patient has a pulse.
The Adult BLS for Healthcare Providers algorithm describes the steps to treat patients that are not breathing or who have abnormal breathing. A pulse check is followed by high quality CPR.
The Chest Pain Checklist for STEMI Fibrinolytic Therapy screens patients for their viability for fibrinolytic therapy.
The Adult Immediate Post Cardiac Care algorithm involves managing patients after they have been resuscitated using the BLS and ACLS Surveys. Return of Spontaneous Circulation (ROSC) has been achieved and the team leader instructs team members on the follow up steps of the algorithm.
The Adult Suspected Stroke algorithm is used to treat patients with suspected stroke. The first step involves identifying the signs and symptoms of possible stroke, activating EMS and proceeding from there.