ACLS can be challenging. The acronym means Advanced Cardiac Life Support. It is about reviving the dead. Hearts stop and can sometimes be restarted, saving a life. ACLS is a certification which is required of all medical providers that are involved in critical care. I recertified this past weekend with a collection of EMT’s, respiratory therapists, physicians, and nurses. It is a lot of information and we are rigorously tested. Why doesn’t everyone get this certification? It requires skills that not everyone has. Airway skills (intubation), IV skills, pharmacology (understanding of drugs and how to give them), proficient CPR skills, EKG skills (read and interpret a heart monitor), knowledge of physiology and anatomy, and leadership are all needed. I recertify regularly. This time, the instructors were all “Life Flight” personnel (they are really good). The American Heart Association keeps improving the techniques and procedures (which is a little frustrating because it is necessary to dump the old and substitute with the new but that is the nature of high quality medical care). It is necessary to study, learn, and refresh to be most effective. I used ACLS protocols once in a dental office when a man walked in off the street. He wasn’t even a patient. Fortunately, he did fine. Skill and understanding is important because people that would otherwise die, live.