Although the term advanced cardiac life support (ACLS) certification suggests that it is just for heart trouble, in reality this training is meant to also assist in any life threatening situations. It is advancement on basic life support measures and can only be trained to and carried out by medical professionals. The efforts used in ACLS Certification are more advanced than what a layman can do including performing intubation of the patient, using a defibrillator and administering drugs to revive the patient. These are all actions that should be carried out by someone with adequate medical knowledge and qualifications.
Once the patient has been stabilized, the source of the condition must be identified. This will help in determining a long term plan of treatment that will minimize the risk of a repeat occurrence. Because of the advancements in the medical field and research into various treatments, the protocols used in ACLS tend to change from time to time. As a result those who are certified must regularly undergo refresher training to be updated on the latest protocols. This recertification helps to keep the medical professional updated on the latest medical procedures and can only enhance the quality of care that the patient will ultimately receive.
An ACLS course covers various aspects including going over basic life support procedures such as chest compressions, how to use an external defibrillator, recognizing the symptoms of a heart attack or stroke, how to manage airways, identifying the correct drugs to use and managing these conditions. Participants are also updated on the latest protocols as determined by the national medical agency. Different countries may have varied course content when it comes to ACLS training. This is because issues such as drug therapy can be dissimilar as different countries have different drug selections in use in the medical field.