AHA BLS Basic Life Support for Healthcare Providers Initial Certification (INCLUDES Provider Manual E-Book)

American Heart Association
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AHA BLS -Basic Life Support for Healthcare Providers Initial Certification is an instructor led four hour classroom course created by the American Heart Association to teach CPR on an Adult, Child and infant using an AED, pocket mask and bag mask. Skills taught include chest compressions and giving rescue breaths. Students watch a video and practice along with the video. At the end of the class participants will take a 25 question written test with a passing score of 84%. Students will the practice and be testing on the skills they have learned. Students who successfully complete the course will receive an American Heart Association Basic Life Support provider certification good for 2 years. 

American Heart Association BLS or Basic Life Support For Healthcare Providers Initial Certification training classes at Saving American Hearts 6165 Lehman Drive Suite 202 Colorado Springs, Colorado 80918. 

Basic Life Support is a life saving certification class that teaches how to perform CPR or Cardiopulmonacy Resuscitation by providing chest compressions combined with rescue breaths. It also teaches how to use an AED or automatic external defibrillator and a bag mask device. Training is provided for Adults, Child and infants. Choking is included in the course. 

Basic Life Support is the foundation for saving lives after cardiac arrest. You will learn the skills of high-quality cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) for victims of all ages and will practice delivery of these skills both as a single rescuer and as a member of a multi-rescuer team. The skills you learn in this course will enable you to recognize cardiac arrest, activate the emergency response system early, and respond quickly and confidently.

Despite important advances in prevention, sudden cardiac arrest remains a leading cause of death in the Unites States. Seventy percent of out-of-hospital cardiac arrests occur in the home. About half are unwitnessed. Outcome from out-of-hospital cardiac arrestremains poor. Only about 10% of adult patients with non-traumatic cardiac arrest who are treated by emergency medical services (EMS) survive to hospital discharge.

With the knowledge and skills you learn in this course, your actions can give victims the best chance of survival.

The BLS Course focuses on what rescuers need to know to perform high-qualiy CPR in a wide variety of settings. You will also learn how to respond to choking emergencies.

After successfully completing the BLS Course, you should be able to

*Describe the importance of high-quality CPR and its impact on survival

*Describe all of the steps of the Chain of Survival

*Apply the BLS Concepts of the Chain of Survival

*Recognize the signs of someone needing CPR

*Perform high-quality CPR for an adult

* Describe the importance of early use of an AED

*Demonstrate the appropriate use of an AED

*Provide effective ventilations by using a barrier device

*Perform high quality CPR for a child

*Perform high quality CPR for an infant

*Describe the importance of teams in multirescuer resuscitation

*Perform as an effective team member during multirescuer CPR

*Describe the technique for relief of foreign-body airway obstruction for an adult or child

*Describe the technique for relief of foreign-body airway obstruction for an infant


The BLS Course focuses on preparing students to perform CPR skills. CPR is a life saving procedure for a victim who has signs of cardiac arrest (unresponsive, no normal breathing, and no pulse). Components of CPR are chest compressions and breaths.

High-quality CPR improves a victim's chances of survival. Study and practice the characteristics of high-quality CPR so that you can perform each skill effectively. 

High-Quality CPR

Start compressions within 10 seconds of recognition of cardiac arrest.

Push hard, push fast: Compress at a rate of 1-- to 120/min with a depth of 

-At least 2 inches or 5 centimeters for adults

-At least one third the depth of the chest, about 2 inches or 5 cm for children

At least one third the depth of the chest, about 1 1/2 inches or 4 cm for infants

Allow complete chest recoil after each compression.

Minimize interruptions in compressions (try to limit interruptions to less than 10 seconds).

Give effective breaths that make the chest rise.

Avoid excessive ventilation.


Chest Compression Depth

Chest compressions are more often too shallow than too deep. However, research suggests that compression depth greather than 2.4 inches (6cm) in adults may cause injuries. If you have a CPR quality feedback device, it is optimal to target your compression depth from 2 to 2.4 inches (5 to 6 cm).


The BLS techniques and sequences presented during the course offer 1 approach to a resuscitation attempt. Every situation is unique. Your response will be determined by

-Available emergency equipment

-Availability of trained rescuers

-Level of training expertise

-Local protocols


Personal Protective Equipment

Personal protective equipment (PPE) is equipment worn to help protect the rescuer from health or safety risks. PPE will vary based on situatins and protocols. It can include a combination of items such as

-Medical gloves

-Eye protection

-Full body coverage

-High-visibility clothing

-Safety footwear

-Safety helmets

Always consult with your local health authority or regulatory body on specific PPE protocols relevant to your role.


Life is Why

High-Quality CPR is Why

Early recognition and CPR are crucial for survival from cardiac arrest. Be learning high-quality CPR, you'll have the ability to improve patient outcomes and save more lives.


The Chain of Survival

At the end of this part, you will be able to

-Describe the importance of high-quality CPR and its impact on survival

-Describe all of the steps of the Chain of Survival

-Apply the BLS concepts of the Chain of Survival


Adult Chain of Survival

The AHA has adopted, supported, and helped develop the concept of emergency cardiovascular care (ECC) systems for many years. The term Chain of Survival provides a useful metaphor for the elements of the ECC systems-of=care concept.


Cardiac arrest can happen anywhere - on the street, at home, or in a hospital emergency department, intensive care unit (ICU) or inpatient bed. The system of care is different depending on whether the patient has an arrest inside or outside of the hospital.


The 2 distinct adult Chains of Survival which reflect the setting as well as the availability of rescuers and resourcses are:

-In-hospital cardiac arrest (IHCA)

-Out-Of-Hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA)


Chain of Survival for an In-Hospital Cardiac Arrest

For adult patients who are in the hospital, cardiac arrest usually happens as a result of serious respiratory or circulatory conditions that get worse. Many of these arrests can be predicted adn prevented by carful observation, prevention, and early treatment of prearrest conditions. Once a primary provider recognizes cardiac arrest, immediate activation of the resuscitation team, early high-quality CPR, and rapid defibrillation are essential. Patients depend on the smooth interaction of the institution's various departments and services and on a multidisciplinary team of professional providers, including physicians, nurses, respiratory therapists, and others.

After return of spontaneous circulation (ROSC), all cardiac arrest victims receive post-cardiac arrest care. This level of care is provided by a team of multidisciplinary specialists and may occur in the cardiac catheterization suite and/or ICU. A cardiac catheterization suite or laboratory (sometimes referred to as a "cath lab") is a group of procedure rooms in a hospital or clinic where specialized equipment is used to evaluate the heart and the blood vessels around the heart and in the lungs. A cardiac catheterization procedure involves insertion of a catheter through an artery or vein into the heart to study the heart and its surrounding structures and function. Measurements are made through the catheter, and contrast material may be used to create images that will help identify problems. During the procedure, specialized catheter can be used to fix some cardiac problems (such as opening a blocked artery).

The links in the Chain of Survival for an adult who has a cardiac arrest in the hospital are

-Surveillance, prevention, and treatment of prearrest conditions

 -Immediate recognition of cardiac arrest and activation of the emergency response system

-Early CPR with an emphasis on chest compressions

-Rapid defibrillation

-Multidisciplinary post-cardiac arrest care


Chain of Survival for an Out-Of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest

Most out-of-hospital adult cardiac arrests happen unexpectedly and result from underlying cardiac problems. Successful outcome depends on early bystander CPR and rapid defibrillation in the first few minutes after the arrest. Organized community programs that preparte the lay public to respond quickly to a cardiac arrest are critical to improving outcome from OHCA.


Lay rescuers are expected to recognize the victim's distress, call for help, start CPR, and initiate public-access defibrillation until EMS arrives. EMS providers then take over resuscitation efforts. Advanced care, such as administration of medications, may be provided. EMS providers transport the cardiac arrest victim to an emergency department or cardiac catheterization suite. Follow-up care by a team of multidisciplinary specialists continues in the ICU.

The links in the Chain of Survival for an adult who has a cardiac arrest outside the hospital are

-Immediate recognition of cardiac arrest and activation of the emergency response system

- Early CPR with an emphasis on chest compressions

-Rapid defibrillation with an AED

-Effective advanced life support (including rapid stabilization and transport to post-cardiac arrest care)

-Multidisciplinary post-cardiac arrest care


Pediatric Chain of Survival

In adults, cardiac arrest is often suddeen and results from a cardiac cause. In children, cardiac arrest is often secondary to respiratory failure and shock. Identifying children with these problems is essential to reduce the likelihood of pediatric cardiac arrest and maximize survival and recovery. Therefore, a prevention link is added in the pediatric Chain of Survival

-Prevention of arrest

-Early high-quality bystander CPR

-Rapid activation of the emergency response system

-Effective advanced life support (including rapid stabilization and transport to post cardiac arrest care)

-Integrated post-cardiac arrest care


Cardiac Arrest or Heart Attack?

People often use the terms cardiac arrest and heart attack interchangeably, but they are not the same.

Sudden cardiac arrest occurs when the heart develops an abnormal rhythm and can't pump blood

A heart attack occurs when blood flow to part of the heart muscle is blocked.


High-Performance Rescue Teams

Coordinated efforts by several rescuers during CPR may increase chances for a successful resuscitation. High performance teams divide tasks among team members during a resuscitation attempt. As a team member, you will want to perform high-quality CPR skills to make your maximum contribution to each resuscitation team effort. 


Main Components of CPR

CPR consists of these main components

-Chest Compressions




Adult 1 -Rescuer BLS Sequence

IF the rescuer is alone and encounters an unresponsive adult, follow these steps

Step 1 - Verify that the scene is safe for you and the victim. You do not want to become a victim yourself

Step 2 - Check for responsiveness. Tap the victim's shoulder and shout. "Are you ok?"

Step 3 - If the victim is not responsive, shout for nearby help

Step 4 - Activate the emergency response system as appropriate in your setting. Depending on your work situation, call 9-1-1 from your phone, mobilize the code team, or notify advanced life support.

Step 5 - If you are alone, get the AED/defibrillator and emergency equipment. If someone else is available, send that person to get it.

Next, assess the victim for normal breathing and a puls. This will help you determine appropriate actions.

To minimize delay in starting CPR, you may assess breathing at the same time as you check the pulse. This should take no more than 10 seconds. 


To check for breathing, scan the victim's chest for rise and fall for no more than 10 seconds.

-If the victim is breathing, monitor the victim until additional help arrives.

-If the victim is not breathing or is only gasping, this is not considered normal breathing and is a sign of cardiac arrest. 


Agonal Gasps

Agonal gasps are not normal breathing. Agonal gasps may be present in the first minutes after sudden cardiac arrest.

A person who gasps usually looks like hi is drawing air in very quickly. The mouth may be open and the jaw, head, or neck may move with gasps. Gasps may appear forceful or weak. Some time may pass between gasps because they usually happen at a slow rate. The gasp may sound like a snort, snore, or groan. Gasping is not normal breathing. It is a sign of cardiac arrest. 


Check Pulse

To perform a pulse chick in an adult, palpate a carotid pulse

First, locate the trachea, on the side of the neck closest to you. Slide these 2 or 3 fingers into the groove between the trachea and the muscles at the side of the neck, where you can feel the carotid pulse. Feel for a pulse for at least 5 seconds, but not more than 10.

IF you do not definitely feel a pulse within 1- seconds, begin high-quality CPR, starting with chest compressions. In all scenarios, by the time cardiac arrest is identified, the emergency response system or backup must be activated, and someone must be sent to retrieve the AED and emergency equipment.

If the victim is not breathing normally or is only gasping and has no pulse, immediately begin high-quality CPR, starting with chest compressions. Remove or move the clothing covering the victim's chest so that you can locate appropriate hand placement for compressions. THis will also allow placement of the AED pads when the AED arrives.

After 30 compressions have been performed, use the head tilt, chin lift and give 2 rescue breaths while watching for chest rise and immediately resume chest compressions. Perform 30 compressions and 2 breaths for five cycles and recheck for a pulse. If there is still no pulse, resume chest compressions and breaths until help arrives, or until you are physically not able to continue. No one expects you to be able to continue CPR forever. You will eventually become exhausted and unable to continue. 



Attempt Defibrillation Use the AED as soon as it is available, and follow the prompts

External Defibrillator for Adults and Children 8 Years of Age and Older

Resume High-Quality CPR

Immediately resume high-quality CPR, starting with chest compressions, when advised by the AED. Continue to provide CPR, and follow the AED prompts until advanced life support is available.

Importance of Chest Compressions

Each time you stop chest compressions, the blood flow to the heart and brain decreases significantly. Once you resume compressions, it takes several compressions to increase blood flow to the heart and brain back to the levels present before the interruption. Thus, the more often chest compressions are interrupted and the longer the interruptions are, the lower the blood supply to the heart and brain is.

High-Quality Chest Compressions

If the victim is not breathing normally or is only gasping and has no pulse, begin CPR, starting with chest compressions.

Single rescuers should use the compression-to-ventilation ratio of 30 compressions to 2 breaths when giving CPR to victims of any age.

When you give chest compressions, it is important to

  • Compress at a rate of 100 to 120/min.
  • Compress the chest at least 2 inches (5 cm).
  • Allow the chest to recoil (re expand) completely after each compression.
  • Minimize interruptions in compressions.


Do Not Move the Victim During Compressions

Do not move the victim while CPR is in progress unless the victim is in a dangerous environment (such as a burning building) or if you believe you cannot perform CPR effectively in the victim's present position or location.

When help arrives, the resuscitation team, based on local protocol, may choose to continue CPR at the scene or transport the victim to an appropriate facility while continuing rescue efforts.

Foundational Facts

The Importance of a Firm Surface

Compressions pump the blood in the heart to the rest of the body. To make compressions as effective as possible, place the victim on a firm surface, such as the floor or a backboard. If the victim is on a soft surface, such as a mattress, the force used to compress the chest will simply push the body into the soft surface. A firm surface allows compression of the chest and heart to create blood flow.

Chest Compression Technique

Compressions in an adult:

Position yourself at the victim's side.

Make sure the victim is lying face up. on a firm flat surface. If the victim is lying face down, carefully roll him to a faceup position.

Position your hands and body to perform chest compressions:

• Put the heel of one hand in the center, of the victim's chest, on the lower half of the breastbone (sternum).

• Put the heel of your other hand on top of the first hand.

• Straighten your arms and position your shoulders directly over your hands

Give chest compressions at a rate of 100 to 120/min.

Press down at least 2 inches (5 cm) with each compression (this requires her Work). For each chest compression, make sure you push straight down on the victim's breastbone (Figure 8B).

At the end of each compression, make sure you allow the chest to recoil complete, Minimize interruptions of chest compressions (you will learn to combine compressions with ventilation next).

Chest Recoil

Chest recoil allows blood to flow into the heart. Incomplete chest recoil reduces the fling of the heart between compressions and reduces the blood flow created by chest compressions. Chest compression and chest recoil/relaxation times should be about equal.

Technique for Chest Compressions

If you have difficulty pushing deeply during compressions, put one hand on the breastbone to push on the chest. Grasp the wrist of that hand with your other hand to raspot the first hand as it pushes the chest (Figure what hand win youndy be rite rescuers with joint conditions, such as arthritis.


See our live calendar of classes here:


If you have a current AHA BLS card and just need a renewal, you can also visit


And, if you want to take the online course at www.elearning.heart.org you can do the online course and then just come in for the in-person hands on practice and testing session.  There are two separate fees, and this is the most expensive way to go, so do a little research first. The classroom courses are much cheaper.

Here's our class dates for the BLS Skills Sessions



  • 5
    American Heart Association AHA Basic Life Support for Healthcare Providers Initial Certification (INCLUDES 2020 Provider Manual!)

    Posted by HP on Sep 12th 2023

    I highly recommend the Saving American Hearts, Inc. for their Basic Life Support (BLS) / CPR and other classes, due to their responsiveness and excellent teaching. In addition the fee is less expensive, and woman owned also.

  • 5
    Great Course!

    Posted by Unknown on Jun 21st 2023

    Will take it here again.

  • 5

    Posted by Ezabelle on Feb 2nd 2023

    Amazing program and instructor was really helpful and nice and made the best jokes

  • 5

    Posted by Alice on Aug 2nd 2021

    This was the most engaging class I've had for BLS. I used this as a means of recertifying and the instructor was helpful, well informed, and knew how to keep the class enagaged and responsive.

  • 5
    This was very helpful and easy to comprehend.

    Posted by Alicia K on Nov 18th 2020

    Loved it!