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The Resuscitation Council UK Immediate Life Support Course

Recognising and intervening in the early stages of critical illness, basic life support and defibrillation are essential for improving outcome from inhospital cardiac arrest [1, 2]. The Resuscitation Council (UK) launched the Immediate Life Support Course (ILS) in January 2002. This multiprofessional 1-day resuscitation course provides tuition on the knowledge and skills required by a first responder to manage a patient in cardiac arrest for the short time before the arrival of a cardiac arrest team. ILS also introduces healthcare professionals to the role of a cardiac arrest team member. Recognition and intervention in the acutely unwell patient prior to cardiac arrest, basic airway skills and rapid safe defibrillation using either manual or automated external defibrillators (AEDs) are the prime objectives of the course. The course includes lectures, skill stations and cardiac arrest scenarios. ILS has standardised much of the life support training that already takes place in hospitals in the UK.

In the first year, 14,409 candidates attended ILS courses in 122 course centres. The backgrounds of the participants are summarised in Table 1. Participants are continually assessed during the course and those that demonstrate satisfactory performance are awarded a certificate valid for 12 months. During the first year the majority (99%) of participants successfully achieved the course objectives. The preliminary results presented here show a promising start for the new ILS course. The challenge now is opening up the course in more centres while maintaining the quality of teaching.

Table 1


  1. Soar J, et al.: Resuscitation 1998, 38: 145-149. 10.1016/S0300-9572(98)00101-4

    CAS  Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  2. Buist MD, et al.: BMJ 2002, 324: 387-390. 10.1136/bmj.324.7334.387

    PubMed Central  Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

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Perkins, G., Soar, J., Harris, S. et al. The Resuscitation Council UK Immediate Life Support Course. Crit Care 7, P059 (2003).

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  • Cardiac Arrest
  • Team Member
  • Prime Objective
  • Healthcare Professional
  • Critical Illness