Your Guide to the American Heart Association’s Basic Life Support Algorithms (BLS) 2020

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Your Guide to the American Heart Association’s Basic Life Support Algorithms (BLS) 2020

Introduction: What is the Role of BLS Algorithms?

The BLS Algorithms are a set of guidelines that are designed to help healthcare professionals to effectively provide treatment to patients who are experiencing cardiac arrest.

The algorithms were developed by the American Heart Association (AHA) in 2005 and it has been updated several times since then. The latest update was released in 2020, and it includes guidelines for the use of automated external defibrillators, as well as new resuscitation rates for pediatric BLS.

Why are the New 2020 AHA BLS Basic Life Support Algorithms Important?

BLS Algorithms 2020
A BLS instructor demonstrates CPR techniques on a dummy to his class.

The new BLS 2020 algorithms are designed to provide a more effective way for healthcare providers to help patients suffering from cardiac events.

These revised BLS 2020 algorithms are important because they provide an evidence-based approach to treating cardiopulmonary emergencies with a greater rate of success than the previous algorithms. They also allow for more efficient, streamlined pre-hospital triage by emergency medical services providers and tap a wealth of additional expertise, with the goal of saving more lives than in previous years.

What are the Changes in the New 2020 Basic Life Support BLS Algorithm That Affect Healthcare Professionals?

BLS Algorithms 2022
A rescuer demonstrates CPR and AED use on a dummy.

The changes in the BLS algorithms are based on recommendations from leading experts and organizations, and are used by the American Heart Association and other BLS training organizations.

Some of the new BLS changes are as follows:

  • When approaching a child or infant in a witnessed cardiopulmonary event, perform 2 minutes of CPR before activating emergency response.
  • The rate of chest compressions–to–rescue breaths in children and infants is 15:2 when two rescuers are present.
  • Use of an AED as soon as one is available is emphasized.

Where Can I Find the Latest BLS Algorithms?

In order to help healthcare professionals stay up-to-date on these changes, Medical ProCerts has created an online BLS Certification course. The course includes the updated AHA compliant algorithms, videos, and step-by-step instructions on how to perform CPR and other basic life support skills. To learn more about Medical ProCerts, to register to certify or re-certify, or to download a FREE BLS Algorithms Course Pack, which contains all the latest AHA-compliant BLS algorithms, visit their website at

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