ACLS Algorithm Review: Adult Cardiac Arrest Algorithm

When an adult experiences cardiac arrest, it’s critical that quick action is taken in order to resuscitate them and restore proper breathing and blood flow. In this blog, we will take a look at the algorithm which is used in the event of adult cardiac arrest, one of the most important ones you need to learn as a medical professional. 


Cardiac arrest is one of the most common causes of death in America. According to the American Heart Association, over 475,000 deaths occur as a result of cardiac arrest in the United States each year. However, when medical professionals are armed with critical information, successful resuscitation following an event of cardiac arrest is possible.

  

Thus, several algorithms have been developed to guide nurses and other medical professionals on how to provide emergency assistance in the event of cardiac arrest. Due to the frequency of its use, the Adult Cardiac Arrest Algorithm is perhaps the most significant of all the ACLS algorithms. This particular algorithm will likely be used more than any other ACLS algorithm to treat patients who are experiencing sudden cardiac arrest. Therefore, mastering this ACLS algorithm is crucial.

  

  

When an adult experiences cardiac arrest, it’s critical that quick action is taken in order to resuscitate them and restore proper breathing and blood flow. In this blog, we will take a look at the algorithm which is used in the event of adult cardiac arrest, one of the most important ones you need to learn as a medical professional.

  

What Should I Do Prior to Using the Adult Cardiac Arrest Algorithm?

  

Before starting the Adult Cardiac Arrest Algorithm, you should ensure that you initiate the BLS Survey. This is a simple list that gets you prepared to resuscitate an individual suffering from cardiac arrest. The steps involved in the BLS Survey include:

  

1.) Checking to see if the victim is conscious and able to respond

  

2.) Reaching out for emergency assistance and obtaining an AED

  

3.) Prioritizing circulation by administering CPR

  

4.) Utilizing the AED or other defibrillator

  

What Does the Adult Cardiac Arrest Algorithm Entail?

  

The Adult Cardiac Arrest Algorithm consists of three main parts. These include:

  

1.) Administering high-quality CPR

  

2.) Checking the patient for a shockable heart rhythm

  

3.) Administering medication after the heart has been shocked

  

After initiating CPR, determining whether the patient’s heart rhythm is shockable will guide you down one of two possible paths. Asystole and PEA are non-shockable rhythms, while VF and pVT are considered shockable.

  

For more detailed information, refer to the Adult Cardiac Arrest Algorithm below:

  

ACLS Adult Cardiac Arrest Algorithm

  

For more information on the various algorithms presented in our ACLS certification course, visit our website. Additionally, we’re always here to provide support and answer your questions, so feel free to reach out to us anytime at [email protected] or 800.688.6158.

  

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