The original guidelines for ACLS were issued in 1974 by the America Heart Association. The course was designed for health care providers who could provide advanced intervention over the traditional basic life support. Over the past several years there has been developing interest in an anesthesia centric version of the ACLS guidelines. ASA-ACLS takes from the current AHA ACLS guidelines and applies them to common perioperative problems facing anesthesiologists, anesthesia assistants, certified registered nurse anesthetists, and other OR personnel. These guidelines are not intended as a replacement of the AHA ACLS guidelines, but merely a supplement to be applied perioperatively.

  1. Common Situations Associated With Perioperative Arrest:
    1. Anesthetic
      1. Intravenous anesthetic overdose
      2. Inhalational anesthetic overdose
      3. Neuraxial blockade with high sympathectomy
      4. Malignant hyperthermia
      5. Drug administration errors
    2. Respiratory
      1. Hypoxemia
      2. Auto-PEEP
      3. Acute Bronchospasm
    3. Cardiovascular
      1. Vasovagal reflex
      2. Hypovolemic shock
      3. Surgical maneuvers associated with reduced organ perfusion
      4. Gas embolism
      5. Acute electrolyte imbalance
      6. Increased intra-abdominal pressure
      7. Transfusion reaction
      8. Anaphylactic reaction
      9. Tension pneumothorax
      10. Acute coronary syndrome
      11. Venous thromboembolism
      12. Severe pulmonary hypertension
      13. Pacemaker failure
      14. Prolonged Q-T syndrome
      15. Oculocardiac reflexes
      16. Electroconvulsive therapy
      17. Stroke
      18. Left ventricular failure
      19. Right ventricular failure
      20. Bradycardia
      21. Tachycardia
  2. References
    1. Moitra, V et al. Anesthesia Advanced Circulatory Life Support. Can J Anesth/J Can Anesth (2012) 59:586-603.