What is the difference between CPR and BLS certifications? - In a Heartbeat

What is the difference between CPR and BLS certifications?

Basic Life Support (BLS) and CPR classes appear to be very similar, which can cause a number of questions.  You need CPR training, but which class is right for you?  Is it possible to substitute your previous CPR training for the BLS certification required by your job?  Can the general public participate in either class?  Despite their many similarities, there are important distinctions that will determine which class you should take.  

The Heartsaver CPR/AED and First Aid training is geared toward the general public – individuals, businesses, child care providers and churches, to name a few.  This class teaches the fundamentals of how to effectively assess and intervene in an emergency situation.  Following completion, participants are certified to perform CPR, use an AED and provide basic first aid.  

While a BLS course also teaches these same principles, it is specifically geared for healthcare providers.  A BLS certification is required by most providers’ licenses and is a prerequisite to more specialized certifications, such as Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support (ACLS).  If you are required to have a BLS certification, please be aware that the basic CPR certification will not meet licensing requirements.

We’ve outlined some of the skills for each certification below.

Heartsaver CPR course skills include:

  1. One rescuer CPR on an adult, child and infant.
  2. Key components of high quality CPR.
  3. AED use on an adult and child.
  4. Relief of choking for an adult, child, or infant.
  5. The adult and child chain of survival, which highlights the decision making processes of initiating CPR.
  6. Use of a CPR pocket mask.

BLS courses cover all of the Heartsaver teaching points, but add:

  1. One AND two rescuer CPR on victims of all age groups, including compression/ ventilation ratio modifications for two rescuer CPR in children and infants.
  2. Modifications of CPR for victims with an advanced airway.
  3. Pulse checks.
  4. Respiratory Arrest scenarios

If you should have additional questions regarding these or any of our other certifications, please contact In A Heartbeat at 302-319-0106.

Spread the knowledge