Difference Between BLS and ACLS (With Table)

BLS and ACLS are two very important terms in the medical dictionary. All the medical students have to know BLS and as for ACLS, it cannot be known to everybody. BLS can be known to first-hand service responders like Fire- brigade, police but ACLS will only be known to medical specialists.

BLS vs ACLS

The difference between BLS and ACLS is that BLS can be known to people even without any medical knowledge, but for achieving the ACLS knowledge, a person should have qualified medical knowledge. BLS is used by registered nurses, whereas ACLS is a must known to RN’s and doctors working in ICU.

The full form of BLS is Basic Life Support. BLS is alternatively known as CPS, which is very important for saving anyone’s life in certain situations. Basic Life Support( BLS) includes a variety of procedures like pulse checking, heartbeat check, chest compressions, and various other procedures to be named.

ACLS stands for Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support. ACLS is majorly and solely known to medical professionals to treat cardiac-related emergencies. Apart from cardiac problems, ACLS can also treat respiratory problems. ACLS is an important requirement for doctors, nurses, and paramedics. For learning ACLS, the said person should first have a clear knowledge of BLS.

Comparison Table Between BLS and ACLS (In Tabular Form)

Parameters of ComparisonBLS(Basic Life Support)ACLS(Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support)
Situation of usageBLS is used when the person is unconscious.ACLS is used when the person is conscious.
Performed byBLS can be performed by, medical assistance, first-hand responders, and anyone else who has BLS knowledge.ACLS can only be performed by professionals and cannot be done by everyone.
Places performedBLS is performed out of hospitals when devoid of medical help.ACLS is majorly performed in a hospitals.
RequirementsOne doesn’t have to know about the knowledge of ACLS to know BLS.One needs the knowledge of BLS for knowing the knowledge of ACLS.
Procedures includedBLS includes a variety of procedures like pulse checking, heartbeat check, chest compressions, and various other procedures to be named.ACLS includes Bradycardia Algorithm, Tachycardia Algorithms, Respiratory Arrest Algorithm, Opioid Emergency Algorithm, Post-Cardiac Arrest Algorithm, and Suspected stroke.

What is BLS?

Basic Life Support or BLS should be basically known to all registered doctors and nurses. Apart from them, it can be known to others too but for a medical professional the BLS certification is mandatory. The motive of the Basic Life Support or BLS is to save the lives of people in cases of severe emergencies. BLS or AS alternatively known as CPR is generally performed outside of the hospitals, in cases where medical assistance needs time. For example, in cases of road accidents or any other situations like this, the injured person whose response is very low in five CPR until the medical help arrives to save the person’s life.

Anyone who knows the basics of CPS can provide BLS to an unconscious person in an emergency. BLS includes the methods of using the AED and other necessities which save lives. AED stands for Automatic External Defibrillators which is a device used in cases when a person suffers a cardiac arrest. Before performing a BLS on anyone, the BLS Survey should be done on them. The BLS Survey includes seeing if the person is conscious. If the person is not conscious, the first step should be calling for medical assistance. Next, the person’s pulse should be checked. If the pulses are not felt within 10 seconds, chest compressions should be given to the patient.

What is ACLS? 

The full form of ACLS is Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support. An ACLS certification must be achieved by all RN’s and nurses working in ICU. The ACLS is performed only on conscious patients. The ACLS is performed in situations when a person suffers cardiac arrest or a cardiac stroke. These are some severe situations and must be handled quite wisely by anyone.

One trained medical staff has the ability to give ACLS, unlike BLS which anyone can learn and give. For giving ACLS, the human anatomy should be thoroughly known for promising results and the person should be able to manage the person’s airway, initiate vascular access, read and interpret electrocardiograms and hence, it cannot be done by everyone. The basic core of the ACLS lies in BLS. The method of ACLS usually starts with analyzing the patient’s heartbeat rhythms. Epinephrine and amiodarone, are two of the most commonly administered drug while providing an ACLS. There are certain algorithms used in the process of ACLS. Some of these are Bradycardia Algorithm, Tachycardia Algorithms, Respiratory Arrest Algorithm, Opioid Emergency Algorithm, Post-Cardiac Arrest Algorithm, Suspected Stroke Algorithm. As this is a critical situation, a person performing the ACLS should be calm and wise with the situation.

Main differences between BLS and ACLS

  1. BLS can be performed by people other than medical professionals also. But ACLS cannot be done by anybody else other than medical professionals.
  2. BLS is performed on unconscious persons, and ACLS is performed on conscious patients.
  3. BLS is performed out of hospitals, ACLS is majorly performed in hospital premises.
  4. For learning BLS, one doesn’t need to know ACLS, but for knowing ACLS one has to know the BLS mandatorily. 
  5. BLS includes a variety of procedures like pulse checking, heartbeat check, chest compressions, whereas ACLS includes Bradycardia Algorithm, Tachycardia Algorithms, Respiratory Arrest Algorithm, Opioid Emergency Algorithm, Post-Cardiac Arrest Algorithm, and Suspected stroke.

Conclusion

Both BLS and ACLS have the same motive to save the lives of people in times of distress. Both the methods are important to be known but sadly both of them cannot be known to everyone. As the full form signifies, BLS is the basic method of handling emergencies whole ACLS deals with the more advanced methods especially Cardio related. Healthcare professionals are generally expected to know both BLS and ACLS. BLS includes methods of CPR and AED’s, which even if not known to everyone, should be known to people in charge of and group for the minimum of the safety of others.

References

  1. https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Polpun-Boonmak/publication/7910702_Knowledge_and_skill_after_brief_ACLS_training/links/5a30bee2458515a13d8557aa/Knowledge-and-skill-after-brief-ACLS-training.pdf
  2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0300957208001123
x
2D vs 3D