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Advanced Cardiac Life Support: A Guide for Nurses, 2nd Edition

ISBN: 978-1-4051-8566-0
328 pages
October 2009, Wiley-Blackwell
Advanced Cardiac Life Support: A Guide for Nurses, 2nd Edition (140518566X) cover image


In the event of an adult cardiac arrest, it is essential to be able to respond rapidly, providing safe and effective care. This new and updated edition of Advanced Cardiac Life Support provides the theoretical background to resuscitation as well as explaining the essential resuscitation skills required to manage an adult cardiac arrest- from the time it occurs until subsequent transfer to the ICU.

The emphasis is on the prevention of cardiac arrest with detailed information on the management of peri-arrest arrhythmias and acute coronary syndromes. Advanced Cardiac Life Support also discussed ethical and legal issues, record keeping, dealing with bereavement, audit, equipment and training- providing an essential quick reference tool for nurses and health care professionals.
  • An evidence-based approach to emergency care based on the latest Resuscitation guidelines
  • A succinct yet comprehensive guide to the management of cardiac arrest
  • Written by an experienced resuscitation training offer who is also a qualified nurse and former CCU Charge Nurse
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Table of Contents



Chapter 1 Resuscitation Service: An Overview


Learning outcomes

Concept of the chain of survival

Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation: Standards for Clinical Practice and Training

Role of the Resuscitation Council (UK)

Principles of safer handling during CPR

Chapter summary

Chapter 2 Resuscitation Equipment


Learning outcomes

Recommended minimum equipment for the management of an adult cardiac arrest

Routine checking of resuscitation equipment

Checking resuscitation equipment following use

Chapter summary

Chapter 3 Recognition and Treatment of the Critically Ill Patient


Learning outcomes

Prevention of in-hospital cardiopulmonary arrest

Clinical signs of critical illness

Early warning scores and calling criteria

Role of outreach and medical emergency teams

Assessment and emergency treatment of the critically ill patient

Chapter summary

Chapter 4 Principles of Cardiac Monitoring and ECG Recognition


Learning outcomes

The conduction system of the heart

The ECG and its relation to cardiac contraction

Methods of cardiac monitoring

Problems encountered with cardiac monitoring

Systematic approach to ECG interpretation

Cardiac arrhythmias associated with cardiac arrest

Peri-arrest arrhythmias

Chapter summary

Chapter 5 Bystander Basic Life Support


Learning outcomes

Potential hazards when attempting BLS

Initial assessment and sequence of actions in bystander BLS

Principles of chest compressions

Principles of mouth-to-mouth ventilation

The recovery position

Treatment for foreign body airway obstruction

Chapter summary

Chapter 6 Airway Management and Ventilation


Learning outcomes

Causes of airway obstruction

Recognition of airway obstruction

Simple techniques to open and clear the airway

Use of oropharyngeal and nasopharyngeal airways

Insertion of the laryngeal mask airway (LMA)

Insertion of the combitube

Procedure for application of cricoid pressure

Principles of tracheal intubation

Methods for ventilation

Chapter summary

Chapter 7 Defibrillation and Electrical Cardioversion


Learning objectives

Ventricular fibrillation

Physiology of defibrillation

Factors affecting successful defibrillation

Safety issues and defibrillation

Procedure for manual defibrillation

Procedure for automated external defibrillation

Synchronised electrical cardioversion

New technological advances in defibrillation

Chapter summary

Chapter 8 Advanced Life Support


Learning objectives

Background to the Resuscitation Council (UK) ALS algorithm

Overview of the ALS algorithm

Chest compressions

Precordial thump

Reversible causes

Drug delivery routes

Resuscitation drugs

Use of pre-filled syringes

Principles of external pacing

Chapter summary

Chapter 9 Resuscitation in Special Situations


Learning outcomes

Life-threatening electrolyte abnormalities



Acute severe asthma





Cardiovascular collapse or cardiac arrest caused by local anaesthetic

Chapter summary

Chapter 10 Anaphylaxis


Learning outcomes





Clinical features and diagnosis

Treatment of anaphylaxis

Chapter summary

Chapter 11 Acute Coronary Syndromes


Learning outcomes

Pathogenesis of ACS

Classification of ACS

Diagnosis of ACS

Immediate treatment of ACS

Chapter summary

Chapter 12 Management of Peri-Arrest Arrhythmias


Learning outcomes

Principles of the use of the peri-arrest algorithms

Adverse clinical signs associated with peri-arrest arrhythmias

Management of bradycardia

Management of a tachycardia

Chapter summary

Chapter 13 Post-Resuscitation Care


Learning objectives

Goals of post-resuscitation care

Initial assessment priorities

Transfer to definitive care

Measures to limit damage to vital organs

Temperature control and therapeutic hypothermia

Prediction of poor outcome

Chapter summary

Chapter 14 Bereavement


Learning objectives

Ideal layout for the relatives room

Breaking bad news

Telephone notification of relatives

Practical arrangements following a death

Relatives witnessing resuscitation

Chapter summary

Chapter 15 Ethical Issues in Resuscitation


Learning outcomes

Ethical principles that guide medical practice

Historical background to DNAR decisions

Importance of DNAR decisions

Key messages in Decisions Relating to Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation

Overview of the DNAR decision-making process

Factors underpinning DNAR decisions

Documentation of DNAR decisions

Information for patients and relatives

Chapter summary

Chapter 16 Resuscitation Records


Learning outcomes

Why maintaining accurate resuscitation records is important

Examples of poor record keeping

Factors underpinning effective record keeping

Importance of auditing resuscitation records

Legal issues associated with record keeping

Audit and reporting standards

Chapter summary

Chapter 17 Resuscitation Training


Learning outcomes

Why resuscitation training is important

Principles of adult learning

Resuscitation training methods

Recommendations for resuscitation training for healthcare staff

Training mannequins/models

Resuscitation Council (UK) courses

Chapter summary


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Author Information

Phil Jevon qualified as an RGN in 1986. He worked on CCU between the years 1987 and 1993 during which time he gained considerable experience in coronary care nursing. He has been the Resuscitation Officer/Clinical Skills Lead at The Manor Hospital, Walsall since 1993 and is an Honorary Clinical Lecturer at the Birmingham Medical School. While working on CCU and since then in his role as a member of the hospital cardiac arrest team, he has got considerable experience in advanced cardiac life support.
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The Wiley Advantage

  • An evidence-based approach to emergency care based on the latest Resuscitation guidelines
  • A succinct yet comprehensive guide to the management of cardiac arrest
  • Written by an experienced resuscitation training offer who is also a qualified nurse and former CCU Charge Nurse
See More


"Praised in its previous edition as a concise source of essential information, this new edition presents the most recent information in an accessible format and serves as an excellent reference source for all cardiologists, radiologists and nuclear medicine physicians". (TMCnet.com, 19 January 2011)
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Advanced Cardiac Life Support: A Guide for Nurses, 2nd Edition (US $53.99)

-and- Monitoring the Critically Ill Patient, 3rd Edition (US $39.99)

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