Who benefits from training in Basic Life Support (BLS)?

Image representing Who benefits from training in Basic Life Support (BLS)?

Having being involved in many resuscitation attempts over the past 35 years I know that sudden cardiac arrest is daunting, upsetting, challenging and unexpected. The key word in this blog is “unexpected”. None of us to go work expecting to deal with a cardiac arrest – it is not planned. If the unexpected happens, then the theoretical and practical knowledge gained from training is so important.

Cardiac arrest is the most serious medical emergency but prevention is important. For example, a person presenting with chest pain may make you suspect a heart attack, so treating the person appropriately may prevent deterioration to cardiac arrest. I have had dental staff say to me “we’ve never had to deal with that yet” but I reply “it could happen today”. Sudden cardiac arrest takes you by surprise!

Who do YOU think about when attending your annual BLS session. You probably hope to update and refresh your skills, and you consider the session as a method of improving your confidence if you ever have to deal with an emergency. You may also consider that a member of the public may walk into the practice to seek medical advice. The training therefore is beneficial to you, any patients or staff you may have to treat, and those members of the public who arrive on your door step.

Another angle on BLS training and all other medical emergency training is this. Doing everything we can for a person and doing it all correctly does not guarantee that person will survive. We must not punish ourselves if the outcome is sad, which leads to my last point.

Practice makes permanent not perfect. Learning the right skills and keeping those skills refreshed and updated is important. If not, attending staff may suffer negative feelings about their personal performance – and that can be harmful.

Author Jon Kyle Andersen


Posted by Gemma

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