Sunday, April 11, 2010

Basic Life Support

Nearing the commencement of our clerkship rotations, we eased our way back from spring break by receiving training in basic life support (BLS) also known as CPR.

Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation

You never know when you are going to need CPR. For that reason alone, it is wise to at least have some understanding of what to do in an emergency situation. Despite learning the skills, I always seemed to have a difficult time counting the 30 compressions in a real situation. Fortunately, when there are other providers available, the actual count is not as significant as when you are alone.

My experiences in the emergency department have prepared me well for this sort of training. Looking back, I would say that working in the health care setting before coming to medical school has helped more than anything else. Exposure to real situations, with real people makes a significant difference when learning the skills needed to succeed. For this reason, we spend a large portion of our time in the clinics honing clinical protocols and learning the standard of care. As we said in boy scouts "Be Prepared." CPR is a skill that is never to late to learn.

Board Prep Question of the Week
A 70 year old man was brought in the hospital by ambulance subsequent to chest pain that lasted 40 minutes. In order to assess the degree of stenosis of his coronary arteries, he underwent coronary angiography, a procedure during which a contrast dye was injected in his coronary vessels. To which phase of the ventricular action potential does visualization of the stenotic lesion correspond?

A. Phase 0
B. Phase 1
C. Phase 2
D. Phase 3
E. Phase 4

Answer & Explanation


  1. Do you guys also end up doing ACLS and PALS training later in your clerkship?

  2. Fortunately, we will Dan. Since ACLS is a longer course, it has been spread out over the next few weeks. As far as PALS, I imagine that would be covered under pediatrics. They may actually cover that in the same course.


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