Why look into the ACLS simulator? If you are a student practicing for the new Advanced Cardiac Life Support exam, ACLS exam, pre-exam, or for an ACLS test, or refreshing your knowledge of heart emergency ACLS codes for ACLS certification and ACLS recertification or renewal, then you will find information in this section valuable. By no means is this a substitute for the formal ACLS training course, however, the pointers presented here should give you a good idea on how the simulation of the heart emergency procedure inside the hospital works, and will serve as an ACLS pretest
We will present here four components of the ACLS simulator that you can learn about before getting to the official ACLS study materials. This will give you a good taste of what the ACLS materials and the ACLS exam itself will look like. The four components of the ACLS simulator that we will touch upon here are basic life support, advanced life support, resuscitation drug use, and ECG analysis or "on the job" ECG interpretation.
When you go through the four components of the ACLS simulator, you will have a much better understanding of the sequence of events following cardiac arrest. You will be better prepared to absorb the ACLS materials, learn the ACLS algorithms and guidelines and do better in real life threatening situations that you may encounter.
As we have discussed in the section on ECG analysis, there are several heart arrhythmias or anomalies that you will be able to practice your knowledge of in the simulation. During the appropriate phases of the ACLS simulation, after having properly placed the leads on the patient's body, you will be presented with the ECG image that you will need to interpret correctly. The interpretation of the ECG image will be crucial in deciding what further steps to take in the simulation.
Basic life support procedures included in the ACLS simulator
Basic life support activities include simple activities that the rescuer can perform instantly, they do not require much time, and they do not require any equipment at all. Basic life support actions included in ACLS simulator are:
- Call for help and AED, Automated Electronic Defibrillator
- Assess responsiveness of the person
- Assess breathing and air paths
- Assess pulse
- Giving rescue breaths
- Doing CPR
Advanced life support procedures
Advanced life support procedures require more time, some of them may require the presence of the crash cart, and the instruments that the crash cart contains, such as the mouth tubing to keep the airpaths clear and to administer medications, IV, intravenous setup to administer medications intravenously and the AED, the Automatic Electronic Defibrillator. The list of advanced life support activities in the ACLS simulator includes:
- Assessing life signs
- Intubation and reintubation
- Check heart rhythm
- Heart pacing with the electric pulses to speed up or slow down heart rhythm
- Cardioversion, converting arrhythmic heart rate into normal using drugs or elecric pulse
- Defibrillator shock
- Checking on breathing sounds
- IV line setup for IV drug administration
Resuscitation drugs used throughout the ACLS simulation
As you will see in the course of the ACLS simulation, you will be advised at appropriate points to administer specific life saving and heart rhythm restoring drugs, either orally or more likely intravenously. The specific quantities, frequencies of administration are specified in the ACLS protocol and must be followed. The drugs included in the ACLS simulation are all included in the crash cart and are:
- Magnesium Sulfate
- Normal Saline
- Calcium Chloride
To try out an inofficial ACLS simulator, check out this site. As an alternative, check out the alternative site.
For more information on choices of ECG monitors, ECG recorder and other equipment, see ECG equipment.