How to perform basic life support
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How to perform basic life support

Melanie Rushton Lecturer, School of Nursing, Midwifery, Social Work & Social Sciences, University of Salford, Salford, England
Mike Barker Lecturer, School of Nursing, Midwifery, Social Work & Social Sciences, University of Salford, Salford, England

Rationale and key points

This article aims to help practitioners refresh their knowledge of basic life support (BLS) supplementary to annual mandatory training. The article offers a step-by-step approach to BLS based on Resuscitation Council (UK) guidelines. There is a need to practise BLS on a regular basis to ensure competency in this area.

A quick assessment of the patient suspected of experiencing cardiac arrest should be made, followed by BLS.

BLS should be performed without delay to ensure optimum outcomes.

BLS is a structured approach to supporting breathing and circulation.

Practitioners should maintain the correct techniques for BLS, including basic airway manoeuvres, chest compressions and ventilations.

Reflective activity

Clinical skills articles can help update your practice and ensure it remains evidence based. Apply this article to your practice. Reflect on and write a short account of:

What you have gained from this article.

How this article will influence your practice when performing BLS. Subscribers can upload their reflective accounts at:

Nursing Standard. 30, 15, 34-36. doi: 10.7748/ns.30.15.34.s48


Peer review

All articles are subject to external double-blind peer review and checked for plagiarism using automated software.

Received: 16 October 2014

Accepted: 07 January 2015

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