BLS means Basic life support, it is performed in an emergency medical situation mainly in cardiopulmonary arrest(It means sudden unexpected stoppage of the heart function, blood circulation, and breathing associated with unconsciousness) outside the hospital. it is a life-saving event which includes CPR, can be performed by any individual(medical or non-medical person).

CPR means Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation, it is a procedure executed during the cardiopulmonary arrest.

If anyone in front of you loses his consciousness and falls down or anyone having a severe accident and become unconscious or in any similar situation like an electric shock, you first need not to worry. Read below steps carefully to become a hero one day. Maybe you can help your loved one in his worse time because the heart does not ask anyone before stop working.

Steps of BLS


If you see anyone in the unconscious state, first of all, do not panic. Then rush towards the guy and bring that guy to a safe place (if the guy is in between road then bring the guy to side of the road, if the guy is in a firey house then bring the guy to a safe place ).


Check the patient conscious level by asking and tapping both shoulder. (always tap both shoulders because the patient may have hemiplegia)


If the patient does not show any response then call for help by shouting or by mobile phone.


check carotid pulse by your index and middle finger (Don’t use your thumb to check pulse because thumb has its own pulse, it may be confused with patient pulse). Place your fingers on the victim’s neck to the side of the windpipe(trachea). Check carotid pulse not less than 5seconds and not more than 10 seconds (Because patient may have arrhythmia or skipped beat, it may be confused as cardiac arrest so you should check at least 5 seconds, you are in a situation that every second count so you should not waste time by checking pulse more than 10 seconds). Simultaneously check breathing by seeing the chest movement of the patient and feel the air entry and exit through the nose. If there is no pulse and respiration then go for CPR, if pulse is present and only respiration is absent then only give rescue breath.

Start Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation(CPR)

It is a life-saving procedure during the worst time, Combines rescue breathing and chest compressions. It resuscitates heart(blood circulation) and lungs(breathing) functioning and mainly ¨Used when there is no breathing and no pulse.

CPR ¨provide O2 to the brain and other vital organs. ¨Effective chest compression provides 1/3 of normal blood flow and effective breathing provides 16% to 17% (out of 21% oxygen from air) of oxygen, it’s sufficient for vital organs to survive.

How to give CPR
  1. Place the heel of one hand on the lower half of sternum.(see below image)
  2. Place another hand on the top and interlock fingers.
  3. Elbow should straight and maintain a 90-degree angle.
  4. Rate of chest compression is 100-120/min and depth 5cm.
  5. Equal compression: relaxation.
Hand position on the chest
Correct CPR
Quality CPR

Quality CPR is very necessary for the survival of the patient, there are five-point in quality CPR

  1. Push hard and push fast(for effective circulation depth is necessary).
  2. 30 compressions per 2 breaths (in pediatric victims give 15 compressions per 2 breath) in a rate of 100-120 compressions per min & Depth should between 2- 2.4 inches(In pediatric victim 1.5inch of depth).
  3. Avoid interruption between compression(interruption decreases the effectiveness of CPR).
  4. Allow complete recoil of the chest(it allows blood to refill in the heart).
  5. Avoid Hyperventilation(Because it Reduces cerebral blood flow).

Maintainance of Air-Way During CPR

“Head tilt and chin lift” is the best method of maintaining open airway without any types of equipment, but in cervical injury or even suspected cervical injury don’t do the “head tilt chin lift” method. Because it can be the reason for spinal cord injury(maybe lead to paralysis and death). If the patient had an accident or any history of fall or you don’t have any history of the injured victim then always suspect there may be a cervical injury and treat accordingly.

1. In the left picture, there is blocked airway 2. In the right picture, the airway is open by head tilt and chin lift method.

If there is a cervical injury then use “jaw thrust” maneuver to open airway. see below

Jaw thrust maneuver

The case of one rescuer maintain airway only, no need to give rescue breath if you are uncomfortable. Because there also some air entry and exit by negative pressure created by chest compression.

In the case of two-rescuer complete five cycles of chest compression and artificial breathing then change side. if possible keep below formula in mind to increase effectiveness.

Give 30 compressions in 18 seconds the 2 breath in 6 seconds (3 seconds per breath) total 24 seconds for one cycle. 24 seconds * 5 cycle is 120 second that is equal to 2 minutes. so, complete 5 cycles in 2 minutes like this.

Is it worth to know BLS

Yes, it is and you don’t need some extra knowledge or don’t need to be a medical practitioner or Health care provider to perform Basic Life Support. By effective resuscitation, there is 20% to 40% chance of survival outside the hospital and 70% to 80% of chance in the hospital setting, if CPR Started within 4 to 6 minute. Every minute of delay dramatically decreases the prognosis of the patient.

Due to the lack of knowledge and delayed practice, 90% of patient dies in cardiac arrest. So, it is actually worth to know about BLS.

If you have any doubt please ask me in the comment.

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Categories: Know Your Health

Biswa Prakash

Hi, I am Biswa Prakash Swain, a Public Health expert and author of this Article. I have Done BSc in Nursing and Masters in Public Health (Epidemiology), Now Preparing for Ph.D. in Epidemiology and Clinical Research. I have more than 7 years of experience in Healthcare sectors like Hospitals and almost 4 years of experience in the Public health field and Clinical research.


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