BLS Certification Manual: Common Mistakes

CPR: Common Mistakes
Common Mistakes

Performing Basic Life Support (BLS) correctly can be challenging, especially in high-pressure emergency situations. Here are some common mistakes that individuals might make while performing BLS, which can affect the efficacy of the life-saving measures:

Inadequate Chest Compressions:

  • Depth:  Not compressing the chest to the recommended depth of at least 2 inches (5cm) in adults can reduce the effectiveness of each compression.
  • Rate:  Performing compressions at a rate significantly slower or faster than the recommended 100-120 compressions per minute.
  • Full Recoil:  Failing to allow the chest to fully recoil between compressions, which is necessary for the heart to refill with blood.

Incorrect Hand Placement:  Placing hands too high or too low on the chest can reduce the effectiveness of compressions and increase the risk of causing injury.

Interruptions in Compressions:  Taking too long to check for signs of life or stopping frequently, which decreases overall blood flow during CPR

Ineffective Rescue Breaths:  

  • Airway Management:  Not properly tilting the head back to open the airway before giving breaths, or failing to ensure that the airway remains open during CPR.
  • Seal and Breath Delivery:  Not creating a good seal around the mouth or nose, which can cause air to leak during rescue breaths. Also, either giving too forceful breaths or not giving enough air to make the chest visibly rise.

Delay in Starting CPRHesitating or delaying the initiation of CPR while waiting for help or due to uncertainty in performing the procedure.

Failure to Use an AED:  Not using or delaying the use of an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) when one is available. AEDs are crucial for treating sudden cardiac arrest and can significantly increase survival rates if used promptly.

Lack of Confidence and Panic:  Inexperience or lack of training can lead to panic and confusion, resulting in improper execution of CPR techniques.

Proper training and regular practice are essential to minimize these mistakes. Taking regular BLS courses and refreshers can help individuals feel more confident and prepared to perform BLS effectively when required.