Class Info

To successfully pass the BLS course, AHA  requires you to successfully pass the adult and infant skills test. In addition, you’re required to pass a written exam with a score of ≥ 84%. In managing a code or cardiac arrest, you will be required to assess the patient’s general condition and effectively treat the patient according to BLS algorithms and recommendations using the AED.

Depending on the size of the class, you may have to perform roles that may be outside your standard scope of practice during the BLS testing portion of the class. You may be required to be a “team leader” in managing the code, requesting an AED, performing CPR, and using the BVM. The team leader will assign their team members to specific roles and responsibilities including: CPR, respiratory management, use of the AED.

Below you will find links to the BLS Summary, Adult Skills Test, and the Infant Skills Test to help you prepare for your class.

The American Heart Association requires all student to purchase the student workbook. You can buy a hard copy or an online version here. BLS for Healthcare Providers Student Manual  Also available in eBook


Key Changes

Team Resuscitation: For adult patients, rapid response team (RRT) systems can be effective in reducing the incidence of cardiac arrest, particularly in the general care wards. 

Adult Basic Life Support and CPR Quality

Chest Compression Rate: In adult victims of cardiac arrest, it is reasonable for rescuers to perform chest compressions at a rate of 100 to 120/min

Chest Compression Depth: During manual CPR, rescuers should perform chest compressions to a depth of at least 2 inches (5 cm) for an average adult, while avoiding excessive chest compression depths (greater than 2.4 inches [6 cm])

Shock First vs CPR First: For witnessed adult cardiac arrest when an AED is immediately available, it is reasonable that the defibrillator be used as soon as possible. For adults with unmonitored cardiac arrest or for whom an AED is not immediately available, it is reasonable that CPR be initiated while the defibrillator equipment is being retrieved and applied and that defibrillation, if indicated, be attempted as soon as the device is ready for use

Chest Recoil: It is reasonable for rescuers to avoid leaning on the chest between compressions, to allow full chest wall recoil for adults in cardiac arrest

Minimizing Interruptions in Chest Compressions: Rescuers should attempt to minimize the frequency and duration of interruptions in compressions to maximize the number of compressions delivered per minute

For adults in cardiac arrest who receive CPR without an advanced airway, it may be reasonable to perform CPR with the goal of a chest compression fraction as high as possible, with a target of at least 60%

Ventilation During CPR With an Advanced Airway: It may be reasonable for the provider to deliver 1 breath every 6 seconds (10 breaths per minute) while continuous chest compressions are being performed (ie, during CPR with an advanced airway)