ACLS Study Guide book cover

ACLS Study Guide

Reflecting the 2010 Emergency Cardiovascular Care guidelines, ACLS Study Guide, 4th Edition offers a complete, full-color overview of advanced cardiovascular life support. An easy-to-read approach covers everything from airway management and rhythms and their management to electrical therapy, acute coronary syndromes, and acute stroke. In addition to the latest ACLS treatment algorithms, this edition includes new case studies, new photos and illustrations, a heart rate ruler, and a handy ACLS quick-reference card for use in the field. Written by Barbara Aehlert, ACLS Study Guide is the official textbook for the American Safety & Health Institute ACLS certification course.

Book, 608 Pages

Published: December 2011

Imprint: Mosby

ISBN: 978-0-323-11312-0


  • Pretest

    Pretest Answers


    1. The ABCDs of Emergency Cardiovascular Care


    Risk Factors for Coronary Artery Disease

    Sudden Cardiac Death

    Chain of Survival

    - Early Recognition and Activation

    - Early CPR

    - Early Defibrillation

    - Early Advanced Cardiac Life Support

    - Integration of Post-Cardiac Arrest Care

    Phases of Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation

    Patient Assessment

    - Scene Safety

    - General Impression

    - Primary Survey

    - Secondary Survey

    Stop and Review

    Stop and Review Answers

    2. Airway Management: Oxygenation and Ventilation

    Anatomy of the Respiratory System

    - Upper Airway

    - Lower Airway

    Lung Volumes and Capacities

    - Lung Volumes

    - Lung Capacities

    - Ventilation Rates

    Devices for Assessing Oxygenation and Ventilation

    - Pulse Oximetry

    - Carbon Dioxide Monitoring

    Oxygen Delivery Devices

    - Nasal Cannula

    - Simple Face Mask

    - Partial Rebreather Mask

    - Nonrebreather Mask

    Manual Airway Maneuvers

    - Head Tilt-chin Lift

    - Jaw Thrust

    - Jaw Thrust without Head Tilt


    - Purpose of Suctioning

    - Suction Catheters

    - Upper Airway Suctioning

    - Lower Airway Suctioning

    Airway Adjuncts

    - Oral Airway

    - Nasal Airway

    Techniques of Positive Pressure Ventilation

    - Mouth-to-Barrier Device Ventilation

    - Mouth-to-Mask Ventilation

    - Bag-Mask Ventilation

    Advanced Airways

    - Esophageal-Tracheal Combitube

    - King Laryngeal Tube Airway

    - Laryngeal Mask Airway

    - Tracheal Intubation

    Stop and Review

    Stop and Review Answers

    3. Rhythms and Management


    Section 1: Anatomy Review and Basic Electrophysiology

    Coronary Arteries

    Basic Electrophysiology

    - Myocardial Cell Types

    - Properties of Cardiac Cells

    - Cardiac Action Potential

    - Refractory Periods

    - Conduction System

    The Electrocardiogram

    - Electrodes

    - Leads

    - Electrocardiogram Paper

    - Waveforms and Complexes

    - Segments and Intervals

    Rhythm Recognition

    - Sinus Rhythm

    - Sinus Arrhythmia

    Section 2: Tachydysrhythmias: Too Fast Rhythms

    Narrow-QRS Tachycardias

    - Sinus Tachycardia

    - Atrial Tachycardia

    - AV Nodal Reentrant Tachycardia

    - AV Reentrant Tachycardia

    - Junctional Tachycardia

    Wide-QRS Tachycardias

    - Intraventricular Conduction Defects

    - Accelerated Idioventricular Rhythm

    - Ventricular Tachycardia

    Irregular Tachycardias

    - Multifocal Atrial Tachycardia

    - Atrial Flutter and Atrial Fibrillation

    - Polymorphic Ventricular Tachycardia

    Section 3: Bradydysrhythmias: Too Slow Rhythms

    Sinus Bradycardia

    - What Causes It?

    - What Do I Do About It?

    Junctional Escape Rhythm

    - What Causes It?

    - What Do I Do About It?

    Ventricular Escape Rhythm

    - What Causes It?

    - What Do I Do About It?

    Atrioventricular (AV) Blocks

    - First-Degree AV Block

    - Second-Degree AV Blocks

    - Third-Degree AV Block

    Section 4: Cardiac Arrest Rhythms

    Ventricular Tachycardia

    Ventricular Fibrillation

    Asystole (Cardiac Standstill)

    Pulseless Electrical Activity

    The Resuscitation Team

    - Goals of the Resuscitation Team

    - Configuration of the Resuscitation Team

    - Code Organization - "Phase Response"

    - Helping the Caregivers

    Stop and Review

    Stop and Review Answers

    4. Electrical Therapy



    - Definition and Purpose

    - Energy, Voltage, and Current

    - Monophasic versus Biphasic Defibrillation

    - Transthoracic Impedance

    - Defibrillation Ð Procedure

    Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs)

    - AED Features

    - AED Operation

    - Special Considerations

    - Maintenance

    Synchronized Cardioversion

    - Description and Purpose

    - Procedure

    Defibrillation and Cardioversion

    - Special Considerations

    - Possible Complications

    - Possible Errors

    Transcutaneous Pacing

    - Procedure

    - Limitations

    - Possible Complications

    - Pacemaker Malfunction

    Stop and Review

    Stop and Review Answers

    5. Acute Coronary Syndromes


    Pathophysiology of Acute Coronary Syndromes

    - Plaque Rupture

    - Thrombus Development

    - Coronary Artery Obstruction

    - Other Causes of Acute Coronary Syndromes

    Forms of Acute Coronary Syndromes

    - Unstable Angina

    - Myocardial Infarction

    History and Clinical Presentation

    - Patient History

    - Typical Symptoms

    - Anginal Equivalents

    - Atypical Presentation

    - Physical Examination

    Patient Evaluation

    - Electrocardiogram Findings

    - Cardiac Biomarkers

    - Imaging Studies

    Initial Management of Acute Coronary Syndromes

    - General Measures

    - Analgesic and Anti-ischemic Therapy

    - Antiplatelet Therapy

    - Aspirin and Clopidogrel

    - Glycoprotein IIb/IIIa Inhibitors

    - Anticoagulant Therapy

    - Percutaneous Coronary Intervention

    - Fibrinolytic Therapy

    - Coronary Artery Bypass Graft Surgery

    Complications of Acute Myocardial Infarction

    - Dysrhythmias

    - Ventricular aneurysm

    - Ventricular septal rupture

    - Papillary muscle rupture

    - Cardiac wall rupture

    - Hypotension

    - Ventricular Failure

    - Pericarditis

    - Embolic Complications

    Stop and Review

    Stop and Review Answers

    6. Acute Stroke



    Stroke Facts

    Classification of Stroke by Anatomic Location

    Ischemic and Hemorrhagic Stroke

    - Ischemic Stroke

    - Hemorrhagic Stroke

    Stroke Chain of Survival

    - Detection

    - Dispatch

    - Delivery

    - Door

    - Data

    - Decision

    - Drug

    - Disposition

    Stop and Review

    Stop and Review Answers


    Case 1: Respiratory Arrest

    Case 2: Pulseless Ventricular Tachycardia/Ventricular Fibrillation with an AED

    Case 3: Pulseless Ventricular Tachycardia/Ventricular Fibrillation

    Case 4: Asystole

    Case 5: Pulseless Electrical Activity

    Case 6: Acute Coronary Syndromes

    Case 7: Symptomatic Bradycardia

    Case 8: Unstable Tachycardia  NEW!

    Case 9: Stable Tachycardia  NEW!

    Case 10: Acute Ischemic Stroke  NEW!


    - Posttest Answers

    Answer Appendix



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