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The Difference between Basic Life Support and Advanced Life Support

Gary Reis

A founding member of the Rhode Island Ambulance Association, Gary Reis serves as the president of Access Ambulance Service, which holds approval to transport people to all hospitals in the state. Gary Reis oversees the company in providing various levels of patient transport. Two common terms in the ambulance industry are basic life support (BLS) and advanced life support (ALS) transportation services to people who require emergency medical care. As their names imply, BLS and ALS offer different grades of emergency care.

An ambulance providing BLS services can transport a patient to the hospital, but personnel will not perform any advanced life-support measures. These patients are stable and do not require advanced care, although they will receive oxygen if necessary. Patients receiving this type of transport service may require medical attention for limb fractures, post-surgical procedures, or find themselves unable to walk or bear weight.
Patients requiring ALS are those who have sustained severe injuries or otherwise need life-support measures. These patients may receive IV therapy, ventilator support, or ECG monitoring. The emergency medical technicians also possess the certification to administer medication or intubations.

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