BLS Description

(Replacement for BLS for Healthcare Providers)

Basic Life Support (BLS) is the foundation for saving lives after cardiac arrest. It is designed for healthcare professionals and trained first responders who provide care to patients in a wide variety of settings, and teaches both single-rescuer and team basic life support skills for application in pre-hospital and in-facility settings.

The Heart & Stroke BLS course offers:

  • The latest resuscitation science for improved patient outcomes
  • Realistic scenarios, simulations and animations depicting rescuers, teams and patients
  • Course and content flexibility for Heart & Stroke instructors and students, including adaptability to local protocols

Intended Audience:

The Heart & Stroke BLS course is designed for healthcare professionals and trained first responders who provide care to patients in a wide variety of both in-facility and prehospital settings or by those that require BLS certification and CPR training to enter into a healthcare-related training program

The BLS Provider course teaches learners to promptly recognize several life-threatening emergencies, give high-quality chest compressions, deliver appropriate ventilations, and provide early use of an AED. It includes adult, child, and infant rescue techniques. The BLS provider course includes realistic scenarios, simulations and state-of-the-art animations, and incorporates Heart & Stroke’s proven practice-while-watching video format to bring the science of the 2015 Guidelines Update for CPR and ECC to the front-line practitioner.

The Basic Life Support (BLS) Renewal course is a fast-paced course that allows the experienced BLS provider (those who are confident in their BLS skills through regular use in their work in the ED, CCU, ICU on code team, or paramedics and first responders) the opportunity to demonstrate knowledge through written and skills assessment in a concentrated program. Successful completion of this two hour 15 minute course (approximate time) allows students to renew their BLS course completion card.

Course Overview and Design:

The BLS course focuses on teaching the essential skills rescuers need to know to perform high-quality CPR in a wide variety of settings. After successfully completing the BLS Course, students should be able to:

• Describe the importance of high-quality CPR and its impact on survival

• Describe all of the steps of the Chain of Survival

• Apply the BLS concepts of the Chain of Survival

• Recognize the signs of someone needing CPR

• Perform high-quality CPR for an adult

• Describe the importance of early use of an automated external defibrillator (AED)

• Demonstrate the appropriate use of an AED

• Provide effective ventilations by using a barrier device

• Perform high-quality CPR for a child

• Perform high-quality CPR for an infant

• Describe the importance of teams in multi-rescuer resuscitation

• Perform as an effective team member during multi-rescuer CPR

• Describe the technique for relief of foreign-body airway obstruction for an adult or child

• Describe the technique for relief of foreign-body airway obstruction for an infant

BLS Course Duration: 

Course durations provided are based on a student-to-instructor ratio for learning stations of 6:1, and do not include additional times needed for optional lessons, breaks or transitions, or additional students.

BLS Provider Course – Approximate course duration: 3 hours 52 minutes

BLS Renewal Course – Approximate duration: 2 hours 15 minutes

Course Completion Card & Expiration Date:

All Heart &Stroke, Basic Life Support completion cards are valid for one year from the date of successful course completion.

Students who successfully complete the course will receive an email that provides access to their BLS Provider eCard. This electronic proof of course completion can be accessed directly online, downloaded or printed for convenience. A Heart & Stroke-printed course completion card is available for an additional fee.

To mitigate skills degradation, annual renewal of the BLS Course completion card is highly recommended. Research on skills retention and training have identified important outcomes:

  • There is growing evidence that BLS knowledge and skills decay rapidly after initial training.
  • Studies have demonstrated the deterioration of BLS skills within a few months after initial training.
  • Studies examining the effect of brief, more frequent training sessions demonstrated improvement in chest compression performance and shorter time to defibrillation.
  • Studies have found that students reported improved confidence and willingness to perform CPR after additional or high-frequency training.

Given how quickly BLS skills decay after training, and with the observed improvement in skill and confidence among students who train more frequently, students are encouraged to periodically review their Provider Manual and practice CPR and AED skills whenever possible.

BLS Renewal Course Prerequisites:

The prerequisite for admission to Heart & Stroke’s BLS Renewal course is current Heart & Stroke BLS Provider certification (taken within the last 12 months and current to the most recent Guidelines release) or successful completion of the online Heart & Stroke BLS Renewal Prerequisite Challenge. Students without one of these prerequisites are not permitted to attend the Heart & Stroke BLS Renewal course.

Students need to come prepared. The BLS Renewal course is fast-paced, assumes you have retained the cognitive knowledge learned in the Heart and Stroke BLS Provider course and can demonstrate skills mastery. There will be limited practice and limited opportunities for remedial coaching.

All participants are expected to be highly proficient BLS providers. This is not an entry-level course, those students who are unsuccessful in the skills or knowledge test will have to take a full BLS Provider course.

Required Student Materials:

Student resources can be conveniently purchased at the online store by visiting: Students must bring the most recent version of the BLS Provider manual with them to class for use throughout the course and as a source for the open resource exam.

  • BLS Provider Manual – in print (RE3310E) or eBook (RE3310ED)………$16.50
  • Optional General Materials:
    – 2015 Handbook of Emergency Cardiovascular Care for Healthcare Providers – in print (RE0120E) or eBook (RE0120ED)…………………………………$34.95