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Basic Life Support is that part of the Emergency Medical System that goes beyond First Aide in the complexity of the information offered, and supplies the provider some basic "tools" with which to achieve the desired outcome.  Basic Life Support is the level of competency to which Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT's) are trained. Their training would include, Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR,) Oxygen Therapy and the use of Hare Traction Splints, Kendrick's Extrication Devices (KED's,) Long Spine Boards, and Automatic External Defibrillators.  Also included at this level of training are Patient Assessment, the collecting and recording of Patient Vital Signs and the proper use of Ambulance equipment.  EMT's are provided with an elementary explanation of body systems, including the Cardiopulmonary  System, the Integumentary System,  Autonomic Nervous System, the Vascular System, and the Musculoskeletal System.  Basic Life Support providers are expected to continue the patient care started by the First Aide provider, and are  trained to work in concert with Advanced Life Support providers by performing the crucial fundamental tasks which are necessary for proper patient care, (which, when performed in a timely fashion, optimize positive patient prognosis,) and by assisting in the performance of the more advanced procedures which should be performed shortly after the completion of the basic life support provision  (in "English" that means the patient is more likely to get better, if the "basic stuff" is done quickly and the "advanced stuff" is done shortly after.)

The rest of the basic life support section will deal with CPR and discuss, in detail, each of the modules included in an EMT-Basic Course.   The content may vary slightly from accepted practice in some parts of the country, as a result of local protocol.  The basic information will, however, be in compliance with the generally accepted AHA and EMT curricula.

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Last updated: 04/13/13.