Due to the large amount of important information contained in our ACLS algorithms, a printable PDF download link is available below.
Before beginning Basic or Advanced life support on any victim, be sure that both you and the victim are safe from other hazards (traffic, water, etc.).
Check for responsiveness by shaking the victim’s shoulder and shouting.
Check to see if the victim is breathing normally; if the victim is not breathing or is only gasping proceed with the next step.
Shout for help. If a second rescuer comes, instruct him to call for help and get an AED. If no one responds, call for help using a phone and go for an AED if you know where one is.
Feel for the carotid pulse. Do this check for 5 to 10 seconds.
If you are not certain that you feel a pulse after 10 seconds, start cycles of 30 chest compressions followed by 2 breaths.
With the victim face up on a hard surface, one of your hands should be placed on the lower half of the sternum.
Your other hand should be placed on the top of the first one.
Compressions must be HARD and FAST. According to AHA guidelines, each compression should be AT LEAST two inches deep and at the rate of AT LEAST 100 per minute.
Allow the chest to re-expand after every compression to allow blood to flow back into the heart.
After 30 compressions, open the airway using a head tilt/chin lift.
If a neck injury is suspected and two rescuers are available, open the airway by using the jaw thrust.
Using a barrier device (if available), give a breath over one second watching the chest rise. Repeat a second breath.
Begin compressions again.
Switch providers every two minutes as needed to provide rest periods.
Provide defibrillation when AED arrives but minimize interruptions to compressions.