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The different types of resuscitation training include learning how to perform rescue breathing; cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) for adults, children and infants; and neonatal resuscitation. Other types of resuscitation training include defibrillator training, or learning how to use an automated external defibrillator (AED), and learning how to operate mechanical CPR devices. Orotracheal intubation training is a key component of advanced life support (ALS). Self-taught Hands-Only CPR™ can be considered a type of resuscitation training as well.
CPR, particularly the type that is performed by healthcare providers, is actually a combination of two different skills — chest compressions and rescue breathing. Rescue breathing, which some people still think of as "mouth-to-mouth," is performed on non-breathing victims who have a pulse. Chest compressions are performed only if the patient has no pulse. The resuscitation training that healthcare providers receive for the performance of rescue breathing also involves learning how to use a variety of medical equipment for superior ventilation and the maintenance of the airway. They learn how to use equipment such as the Combitube®, the King LT®, oropharyngeal and nasopharyngeal airways and the laryngoscope for the performance of orotracheal intubation.
Orotracheal intubation is the placement of an endotracheal tube directly into the trachea, commonly called the windpipe. This type of medical intervention requires advanced resuscitation training and a tremendous amount of practice, because the procedure, if improperly performed, can quickly cause the death of a patient. Neonatal resuscitation refers not only to the restoration of spontaneous respirations and heartbeat in the neonate but also to the establishment of these vital functions. It also requires specialized training on various levels.
It might be said that the various types of resuscitation training are a reflection of the various levels of training. For example, laypeople tend to learn Hands-Only CPR™ while those who desire to work in emergency medical services in the United States must learn at least all of the resuscitation procedures at the basic life support (BLS) level to work on an ambulance or in the emergency room of a hospital. Paramedic specialists and critical care paramedics must learn all of the resuscitation skills that are considered advanced life support. Training to use resuscitation equipment generally is provided only within EMS systems that use them.