Improving Basic & Advanced Cardiac Life Support Training

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Published on February 16, 2023 at 11:34:00 AM PST February 16, 2023 at 11:34:00 AM PSTth, February 16, 2023 at 11:34:00 AM PST

American Heart Month is dedicated to supporting those with cardiovascular conditions, promoting healthy lifestyles, creating access to affordable care and advancing research in cardiac care. With heart disease being the leading cause of death in the U.S. and over 120 million Americans living with a cardiovascular condition, the need for proper training in Basic Life Support (BLS) as well as Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) has never been greater. Continue reading to learn more about teaching strategies that can enhance student performance and knowledge retention in BLS and ACLS training courses. 

Cardiovascular Disease & CPR 

Cardiovascular disease causes one out of every three deaths in the United States, and it claims more lives each year than cancer, chronic lower respiratory disease and accidents combined. When cardiovascular disease progresses to sudden cardiac arrest, high-quality chest compressions are pivotal for improving survival. Research has shown that adequate rate and depth have been associated with better blood flow and oxygen delivery to the heart and brain, increased rate of return of spontaneous circulation and neurologically intact survival-to-hospital discharge (1-4). For this reason, the American Heart Association (AHA) now requires CPR instructors to use real-time feedback devices for teaching learners how to perform chest compressions on adult victims of cardiac arrest. These devices constantly monitor the quality of resuscitation, including chest compression rate and depth, and full chest recoil. They have been shown to significantly improve CPR quality, as learners can make immediate adjustments to their performance and gain confidence that their actions yield the desired results (2-4). 

Improving Basic Life Support Courses

While a wide variety of CPR trainers are available with the required feedback devices, Brayden CPR manikins are unique because they allow students to see a simulated version of blood flowing to the brain and vital organs. Brayden CPR manikins have animated LED lights under the skin to demonstrate real-time effects of CPR compression depth, speed and recoil on circulation. Lights will become fully animated with correct compression depth and partially illuminate or freeze if compressions are too shallow or too slow. This helps team leaders quickly recognize ineffective chest compressions in order to improve the quality of resuscitation efforts (9,10). 

Reimagining ACLS Megacodes

Hands-on megacode simulations with high-fidelity patient manikins and equipment offer unique opportunities for students to master essential psychomotor, leadership and communication skills. Research has shown that students have more confidence, knowledge and retention of key ACLS skills after participating in immersive simulations, as opposed to quizzes, discussion or online activities (2,4,11-14). However, sourcing manikins, crash carts and equipment for megacode simulations can be a challenge for instructors. In efforts to combat this hurdle, DiaMedical and SimLabSolutions created the Loaded 6 Drawer Emergency Crash Cart with SimVS Hospital. The Loaded 6 Drawer Emergency Crash Cart is based on current ACLS algorithms and contains all of the supplies and simulated medications that are needed for adult resuscitation, including management of respiratory and cardiac arrest. All of the contents are latex free and designed to prevent needlestick injuries with Luer lock connectors and blunt tip cannulas. Plus, SimRx code meds come in color-coded boxes with realistic labels for rapid, accurate administration of atropine, epinephrine, lidocaine and more. The SimVS Hospital Virtual Diagnostic Platform is the perfect complement to the Loaded Crash Cart as it allows instructors to transform any manikin into a high-fidelity simulator. SimVS is a tablet-based system with LIFEPAK 15 and Zoll X-Series interfaces that allow students to safely practice defibrillation without any risk of shock injury. Instructors can easily adjust the patient parameters in response to student interventions, facilitating development of key assessment and decision-making skills. In addition, the scenario editor includes over 200 cardiac and respiratory waveforms with adjustable alarms and performance checklists. 

Key Takeaways 

As the need for proper and efficient BLS and ACLS training continues to be of great importance, having the right equipment and supplies to promote student comprehension is vital to instructors. Brayden CPR Manikins and Loaded Crash Carts from DiaMedical are great options to enhance performance and knowledge retention for basic and advanced life support training programs. The DiaMedical team is equipped to help instructors balance cost and functionality in order to find the right tools to meet the learning needs of their students. For more information, reach out to a DiaMedical expert at 877-593-6011 or


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