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Basic and Advanced Life Support

Adult Basic Life Support (BLS) Algorithm

Adult BLS Health Providers

Basic life support algorithm

See also:

Adapted from: Berg RA, Hemphill R, Abella BS, Aufderheide TP, Cave DM, Hazinski MF, Lerner EB, Rea TD, Sayre MR, Swor RA. Part 5: adult basic life support: 2010 American Heart Association Guidelines for Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation and Emergency Cardiovascular Care. Circulation. 2010 Nov 2;122(18 Suppl 3):S685-705.

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Glasgow Coma Scale

Behavior  Response Score
Eye opening Spontaneous
 To speech
 To pain
Best verbal response Oriented
 Inappropriate Words
 Incomprehensible sounds
Best motor response Obeys
 Abnormal flexion to pain
 Extensor response to pain

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Revised Trauma Score

The Revised Trauma Score (RTS) is made up of a combination of results from three categories:

  • Glasgow Coma Scale
  • Systolic Blood Pressure
  • Respiratory rate
All of these results can be quickly assessed with minimal equipment: a flashlight, a watch and a sphygmomanometer since systolic pressure can be obtained through arterial palpation.

The score range is 0-12. In START triage, a patient with an RTS score of

  • 12 is labeled DELAYED (walking wounded)
  • 11 is URGENT (intervention is required but the patient can wait a short time)
  • 10-3 is IMMEDIATE (immediate intervention is necessary)
  • <3 is MORGUE, which is given to seriously injured people. These people should not receive certain care because they are unlikely to survive. The reasoning is that diverting scarce resources away from people with a little chance of survival increases the chances of survival of others who are inherently more likely to survive.

Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) Systolic Blood Pressure (mmHg) Respiratory Rate (breaths/min) Coded Value

Add the value of each characteristic. Highest possible total score is 12, and the lowest possible total score is 0.

Champion et al., A Revision of the Trauma Score. Journal of Trauma. 1989:29(5): pg. 623-9

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ATLS Hemorrhage Classification

Estimated Blood Loss Based on Patient's Initial Presentation
Parameter Class I Class II Class III Class IV
Blood loss (ml)Up to 750750-15001500-2000>2000
Blood loss
(% blood volume)
Up to 1515-3030-40>40
Pulse Rate (bpm)<100100-120120-140>140
Blood PressureNormalNormalDecreasedDecreased
Pulse Pressure (mmHg)Normal or increasedDecreasedDecreasedDecreased
Respiratory Rate (breaths/min)14-2020-3030-40>35
Urine Output>3020-305-15Neglible
CNS/Mental statusSlightly anxiousMildly anxiousAnxious, confusedConfused, lethargic
Fluid replacementCrystalloidCrystalloidCrystalloid and bloodCrystalloid and blood

For a 70kg male

Taken from ATLS handbook

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ACLS Algorithms

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