What Are ACLS Drug Algorithms?


Quick Answer

Advanced cardiac life support drug algorithms are sets of instructions to standardize and increase the effectiveness of treatment of cardiac arrest and other life-threatening emergencies, such as stroke. Each of the seven algorithms is in the form of a flowchart and deals with various ACLS events and recommended drug administration in hospital settings, reports the ACLS Training Center.

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Full Answer

The seven ACLS drug algorithms rely on good basic life support care, prompt cardiopulmonary resuscitation and attempted defibrillation within minutes of the collapse, according to the American Heart Association. The cardiac arrest algorithm's recommended flowchart instructs responders to assess, intervene and manage a respiratory arrest. The bradycardia algorithm aids in assessing and managing symptomatic bradycardia, while tachycardia algorithms identify wide, regular or irregular tachycardia and instruct providers to administer the appropriate drugs, explains the ACLS Training Center.

Other ACLS algorithms include the acute coronary syndromes algorithm, the suspected stroke algorithm and the ventricular fibrillation or pulseless ventricular tachycardia algorithm. The pulseless electrical activity or asystole algorithm aids in assessing and managing cases of cardiac arrest with no palpable pulse, notes the ACLS Training Center. Each ACLS drug algorithm is in the form of a yes-or-no flowchart that enables front line health care providers to assess, intervene and manage life-threatening scenarios.

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