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What exactly is Basic Life Support (BLS)?
Basic Life Support (BLS) is primary health care provided for people in emergency states -to help them sustain life before they can access medical care.
It is offered to victims of drowning, choking, and those experiencing cardiac arrest to improve their chances of survival while waiting for paramedics to arrive.
BLS training is essential for First Aid programs and health care providers.
It is similarly essential for all people in the service field, including; daycare providers, teachers, security personnel, police officers, etc.

Healthcare providers and laypersons need to provide Basic Life Support to increase the number of equipped rescuers in uncontrolled emergencies.
The factors that promote the victim’s survival are the ability of a witness to quickly assess the need for resuscitation and perform compressions effectively, which are the main study points of BLS training.

The BLS Course at Priscare Wellness, Umala Mission
Priscare Wellness, a project of Umala Mission, recently completed their first Basic Life Support (BLS) program to aspiring health care providers.
The course was an interactive online class, thanks to Mrs. Joyce Fiodembo, BA, RN, ACLS, BLS– the course instructor.
The course entails all the processes of recovering proper respiration and blood circulation until medical care providers arrive. The lessons taught Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR), for recovering normal breathing, for infants, children, and adults, including those with special needs, such as the pregnant and bariatric care.

The lessons also covered the proper use of an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) that helps recover the regular heartbeat of patients experiencing cardiac arrest.
The training was up to date with the 2020 American Heart Association guidelines.

The basic procedure for BLS is:
Surveying for safety
checking for responsiveness
If the patient is unresponsive, check for breathing and a pulse
Call for help
Be aware of the frequency of compressions per breath, and pressure, which varies for adults, and toddlers.

Knowing the correct use of External Automated Defibrillator (AED)
The rescuers only stop if the person responds or medical providers arrive
The class had lecture notes and instructions, followed by hand-on skill sessions, and then had skill practice sessions. We then took the skill and theory tests and were accredited by the American Heart Association.
We received our Basic Life Support Certification upon successful completion.

Need for training:
Although a rescuer can offer CPR, training is vital as it boosts their confidence while looking at instructions. These classes are essential as some of the leading causes of death include heart diseases, accidents, respiratory diseases, and stroke.
BLS application can make a difference.
Additionally, studies show that common mistakes in resuscitation are the number of compressions and pressure applied, which makes BLS training very crucial.

Lastly, with the highlighted importance of learning Basic Life Support, there is a shortage of training globally.
Although in developed countries training is conducted often, but that is not the same for developing countries.
In Kenya, for example, one of the organizations that provide BLS education is the Kenyan Red Cross organization; however, this is not enough for the country.

The training by Priscare Wellness- Umala Mission will continually provide ready BLS training for the community and holistically prepare competent and able incoming health care providers – which is the goal of this missionary institution.

Author: Shamim W. Atira


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