Some common Advanced Cardiac Life Support, or ACLS, algorithms include cardiac arrest, brachycardia, tachycardia, suspected stroke and acute coronary syndromes, reports the ACLS Training Center. Other algorithms include pulseless electrical activity, post-cardiac care, and ventricular fibrillation or ventricular tachycardia without a pulse.
The ACLS algorithms detail the steps a healthcare provider should take in situations where a patient's heart, lungs, airway or blood vessels are compromised, according to the ACLS Training Center. Some algorithms require the healthcare provider to first follow the steps of the Basic Life Support survey to determine if the patient is breathing and has a pulse. Healthcare providers should perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation and use a defibrillator, if necessary, then follow up with the correct algorithm for the patient's specific condition.
These algorithms come from the American Heart Association's 2010 ACLS Guidelines, states the ACLS Certification Institute. Most life support training courses test on these algorithms, including those for ACLS certification. The AHA designed the ACLS guidelines for nurses, doctors, emergency medical technicians and other healthcare providers in intensive and emergency care units who frequently encounter patients with cardiac emergencies, states the AHA website. ACLS courses also cover proper methods of communication, working as a team, pharmacology and airway management.