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4.4. BLS Algorithm = Make Your Own Adventure

The theme song to this post is Stayin' Alive, at about 100 beats per minute, the recommended rhythm for high quality chest compressions.

Well, you can tell by the way I use my walk
I'm a nursing student, no time to talk
Bed alarms loud and bedpans warm
Answering call lights since 6:30 this morn
And now it's all right, it's okay
And you may look the other way
We can try to understand
CPR's effect on man
Whether you're a student or whether you're a patient
You're stayin' alive, stayin' alive
Feel the epi pushin' and people compressin'
And we're stayin' alive, stayin' alive
Ah, ha, ha, ha, stayin' alive, stayin' alive
Ah, ha, ha, ha, stayin' alive
Code Blue somewhere, somebody help me
Somebody help me, yeah
Life goin' nowhere, somebody help me, yeah
I'm stayin' alive

The Basic Life Support & Advanced Cardiac Life Support algorithms are probably some of the darkest flow charts available outside of those old Make Your Own Adventure books and Netflix's new interactive film, Bandersnatch, but nobody's going to give you a 50 question test on "chop or bury?" "get rabbit," or "red door, turn to page 55."

No pulse? Chest compressions. No breathing? Ventilate. Neither? 30 compressions per 2 breaths. Shock VF VT, don't shock PEA Asystole. CPR, Epinephrine, shock, Amiodarone, rinse & repeat until patient's back or the doctor calls it. Put everything into those compressions because we really don't want her to call it.

The basic flow chart of all our lives inevitably ends in death. Why bother? Because what matters isn't the end result, but everything that happens in between. Life is short--let's make this count.

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