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BLS Basics: The Essential Steps to Save a Life

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BLS Basics: The Essential Steps to Save a Life

Picture this: You are strolling in the park on a fine sunny day, breathing in fresh air and enjoying nature, when you trip over a man who has fallen down. Your heart races. It seems that everybody wants to help, but do they know what to do?

Knowing Basic Life Support (BLS) will help you be more prepared in the event of an emergency and assist you in saving someone’s life if called upon.

Step 1: Ensure Safety

Remember, to avoid becoming a victim yourself, always assess the situation’s safety before jumping in to help. Stemming threats—be out looking for any signs of traffic, electric wires, or anything else that may endanger your life or that of the victim.

The safety of everyone must be paramount because it is impossible to protect others if you yourself are targeted.

Step 2: Checking Responsiveness

After ensuring the scene is secure, one should go near the affected person and determine if he or she is responding to stimuli. Step down to their shoulders and shake them slightly while saying, “Are you alright?” If the opponent does not stir, it is time for the next level. In case they do respond, only wait for them to gain some consciousness and then follow their condition until the arrival of assistance.

Step 3: Call for Help

If you have something to show that this person is unresponsive, do not hesitate to call for assistance. Get someone on the phone to call the emergency services by using your own physical phone or shout at someone to call. Ensure that any information related to your current location and events around you or in your environment is well relayed.

In case you are in a public place, please, get someone to look for an Automated External Defibrillator (AED).

Step 4: Check for Breathing

Place your subject on their back and gently turn their head sideways to clear the airway and observe for appropriate breathing patterns. Attempt to take some breaths, no longer than 10 seconds in total, with your ‘look and feel’ sense engaged.

If the person is breathing normally, let him continue breathing in this manner, but if he is gasping or besides breathing at all, you should start doing CPR.

Step 5: Begin Chest Compressions

Position the heel of one hand in the middle of the chest of the person and on the lower part of the sternum. Then, grasp it with the other hand on top and squeeze the fingers to lock. Ensure that your elbows are locked and oppose the plane of the shoulders to the plane of your hands.

Press hard and fast and ensure that the depth of the chest compression is at least 2 inches deep and the rate of the compression is 100 to 120 per minute. Picture it: The iconic song ‘Stayin’ Alive’ by the Bee Gees – that should give you some idea of the pace you need to keep up consistently.

Step 6: Give Rescue Breaths (If Trained)

If you have BLS certification, you should administer breathing breaks. If you are trained to perform CPR, give two rescue breaths after each 30 chest compressions.

Put your hand over the person’s mouth and nose with one hand and the other stay free; make the chest rise by blowing into their mouth.

Each breath should take approximately a second. If you are not trained or feel uncomfortable giving rescue breaths, do chest compressions.

Step 7: Administer CPR If an AED is available, use it.

If an AED is available, switch on the AED and use it following the prompts provided. Place the two pads on the chest of the person; one on right and upper part of the chest and the other on the left and lower part of chest.

The AED will monitor the condition of the heart by listening to its beat and will tell you to press the shock button if necessary. Ensure that none of the subject’s body is in contact with another person while administering the shock.

Move on to basic first aid such as CPR until the arrival of advanced emergency health care services or the person regains normal breathing.

Step 8: Continue CPR

If you were trained, continue with 30 chest compressions and two rescue breaths until the person responds or help arrives. It can be quite straining, so if there is an available and capable person, switch to minimize tiredness.

Step 9: Monitor and Reassure

If the person begins to breathe by themselves, he or she should be put in the recovery position. This includes turning them on their side, with the top leg flexed at the hip joint to form a triangle for supporting the upper part of the body and the head tilted slightly backward to keep the air passage clear.

Remain with the patient and offer comfort until other forms of assistance come in.


Basic Life Support may sound complicated but know that when someone’s life hangs in the balance, little time is too long. These steps should help you to make a huge difference during an emergency situation.

Ensuring safety is important, as well as checking the person’s responsiveness, how to call for help, how to perform chest compressions, how to give rescue breaths, the usage of AED and monitoring the person are all significant activities to help save a life.

Just consider the level of satisfaction when one knows they have helped others and the feeling that comes with it. BLS is more than just knowledge it is the ability to respond when faced with an emergency situation. Thus, get the CPR course, rehearse and be prepared for that fateful moment.

SEE ALSO: UK Patients Testing World’s First Personalized mRNA Cancer Vaccine For Melanoma

Salman Ahmad is a seasoned writer for CTN News, bringing a wealth of experience and expertise to the platform. With a knack for concise yet impactful storytelling, he crafts articles that captivate readers and provide valuable insights. Ahmad's writing style strikes a balance between casual and professional, making complex topics accessible without compromising depth.

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