HeartCode® Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support Part 1 is a Web-based, self-paced instructional program that uses eSimulation technology to allow students to assess and treat patients in virtual healthcare settings. In this environment, students apply their knowledge to real-time decision making and skills development. Debriefings and coaching are provided immediately after each simulation to facilitate learning. After completing the cognitive portion of the course, students practice and test their skills with an AHA Instructor or on a voice-assisted manikin (VAM) system. Upon successful completion of the cognitive and skills tests, students receive a course completion card.

This program presents 10 interactive hospital-based cases to teach ACLS knowledge, building on the foundation of lifesaving BLS for Healthcare Providers skills and the importance of continuous, high-quality CPR.

HeartCode ACLS Part 1 is for healthcare professionals who either direct or participate in the management of cardiopulmonary arrest and other cardiovascular emergencies, specifically those seeking an alternative (nonclassroom) method for completing an initial or update ACLS Course.

HeartCode ACLS Part 1 requires prior knowledge that will be applied in using the ACLS treatment algorithms. Unprepared or inexperienced students may require additional time to complete HeartCode ACLS Part 1. To be successful in any ACLS course, students should be able to identify ECG rhythms and should know pharmacology specific to cardiopulmonary arrest and other cardiopulmonary emergencies before beginning the course. It is strongly recommended that students review the ACLS course materials contained within the program and complete the Precourse Self-Assessment prior to attempting the patient cases.

Features
  • Self-paced and accessible 24 hours a day 
  • Precourse Self-Assessment to gauge students’ knowledge and application of ECG recognition and pharmacology 
  • Debriefings and coaching provided immediately after each simulation, with hyperlinks to the referenced section of the ACLS Provider Manual
  • Multiple choice, 50-question exam to test cognitive knowledge; program immediately identifies incorrect answers and  provides a hyperlink to the appropriate section of the ACLS Provider Manual for instant remediation
  • Online access to the ACLS Provider Manual, the 2010 AHA Guidelines for CPR & ECC and the 2010 Handbook of Emergency Cardiovascular Care for Healthcare Providers
  • Provides access to all information in course for 24 months (two years) following activation of course key
  • Provides up to 10.25 hours continuing education credit

Purchase Options

AHA Training Centers

Use our Find a Course tool to locate an AHA Training Center in your area that offers Classroom and Skills Sessions.

AHA Approved Distributors

Visit one of our Distributors to purchase course materials.

Channing Bete Company

Laerdal Medical Corporation

WorldPoint

eLearning

Purchase and complete eLearning and blended learning courses

Go to OnlineAHA.org to register and complete online courses.



Course Content

  • Key changes in advanced cardiovascular life support, reflecting the 2010 American Heart Association Guidelines for Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation and Emergency Cardiovascular Care
  • Ten adult patient cases with up to four healthcare providers, presented through eSimulation technology:
    • One BLS case
    • Seven cases representing cardiovascular, respiratory and stroke emergencies
    • Two Megacodes
  • Recognition and early management of respiratory and cardiac arrest
  • Recognition and early management of periarrest conditions such as symptomatic bradycardia
  • Airway management
  • Related pharmacology
  • Management of acute coronary syndromes (ACS) and stroke
  • Effective communication as a member and leader of a resuscitation team

Additional Information

Instructor Materials

Information for ACLS Instructors conducting a skills practice and testing session for HeartCode ACLS Part 1 can be found in the document, “Training Memo: Skills Testing for HeartCode ACLS.” This document is posted on the AHA Instructor Network (opens new window) under Courses > HeartCode ACLS Part 1, under the Course Resources tab.

Student Materials

90-1405  HeartCode ACLS Part 1 Key

To receive an ACLS course completion card using this program, students must complete three parts: 

  • HeartCode ACLS Part 1. Upon successful completion of the online portion, including the written exam, students receive a Part 1 certificate of completion, which must be presented for parts 2 and 3.
  • Part 2*, a hands-on skills practice session with an AHA ACLS Instructor or using a voice-assisted manikin (VAM) system
  • Part 3*, a skills test with an AHA ACLS Instructor or using a VAM system

*Parts 2 and 3 should be completed in one “skills practice and testing” session.

AHA ACLS course completion card, valid for two years.

To receive an ACLS course completion card using this program, students successfully must complete three parts: 

  • HeartCode ACLS Part 1. Upon successful completion of the online portion, including the written exam, students receive a Part 1 certificate of completion, which must be presented for parts 2 and 3.
  • Part 2*, a hands-on skills practice session with an AHA ACLS Instructor or using a voice-assisted manikin (VAM) system
  • Part 3**, a skills test with an AHA ACLS Instructor or using a VAM system

*Parts 2 and 3 should be completed in one “skills practice and testing” session.
**The skills practice and skills testing session is sold separately.

2012 Frequently Asked Questions for HeartCode ACLS Part 1 (PDF)

Q: Does the AHA determine the cost for all training courses and the accompanying course materials?

A: Costs for courses and materials are determined by Training Centers or Instructors and may vary. The AHA does not regulate price; however, provides its authorized distributors suggested retail pricing on course materials.

HeartCode Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support Part 1 Enduring Web Course

ORIGINAL RELEASE DATE:  November 2003
TERMINATION DATE:  June 28, 2017
LAST REVIEW DATE: June 2014

DESCRIPTION:
HeartCode ACLS is an official, self-directed, comprehensive eLearning program from the American Heart Association (AHA). HeartCode ACLS Part 1 uses eSimulation technology to present realistic patient scenarios. Students are presented with a team dynamics lesson (passing is 10 out of 14 or better), 10 ACLS hospital-based case scenarios (passing is 70% or better), and a written exam (passing is 84% or better). While interacting with the program, students assess each patient, formulate a treatment plan based on ACLS guidelines, and provide treatment. Successful completion of Part 1, the cognitive component, and Parts 2 and 3, skills practice and testing with an AHA ACLS Instructor or a voice-assisted manikin (VAM) system, meets the requirements for obtaining an AHA ACLS Provider course completion card.

LEARNING OBJECTIVES:
After participating in this activity, participants will be able to:
1. Recognize and initiate early management of peri-arrest conditions that may result in cardiac arrest or complicate resuscitation outcome
2. Demonstrate proficiency in providing BLS care, including prioritizing chest compressions and integrating AED use
3. Recognize and manage respiratory arrest
4. Recognize and manage cardiac arrest until termination of resuscitation or transfer of care, including immediate post-cardiac arrest care
5. Recognize and initiate early management of acute coronary syndromes including appropriate disposition
6. Recognize and initiate early management of stroke including appropriate disposition
7. Demonstrate effective communication as a member or leader of a resuscitation team and recognize the impact of team dynamics on overall team performance

TARGET AUDIENCES:
Primary Audience:
• Physicians
• Physician Assistants
• Nurse Practitioners
• Nurses
• Pharmacists
• EMTs/Paramedics

ACCREDITATION TERMS:
• ACCME/AMA (Physicians) – June 29, 2014 – June 28, 2017
• ANCC (Nurses) – June 29, 2014 – June 28, 2017
• ACPE (Pharmacists) - June 29, 2014 – June 28, 2017
• CECBEMS (EMS Practitioners) – June 29, 2014 – June 28, 2017

ACCREDITATION STATEMENTS:

Continuing Medical Education Accreditation - Physicians
The American Heart Association is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

The American Heart Association designates this live activity for a maximum of 9.75 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

All persons who develop and/or control educational content in CME/CE activities provided by the American Heart Association will disclose to the audience all financial relationships with any commercial supporters of this activity as well as with other commercial interests whose lines of business are related to the CME/CE-certified content of this activity. In addition, presenters will disclose unlabeled/unapproved uses of drugs or devices discussed in their presentations. Such disclosures will be made in writing in course presentation materials.

Continuing Medical Education Accreditation – Physician Assistants
AAPA accepts certificates of participation for educational activities certified for AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM from organizations accredited by ACCME or a recognized state medical society. Physician assistants may receive a maximum of 9.75 hours of Category I credit for completing this program.

Continuing Medical Education Accreditation – Nurse Practitioners
American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) accepts AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM from organizations accredited by the ACCME.

Continuing Education Accreditation - Nurses
The American Heart Association is accredited as a provider of continuing nursing education by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation.

The maximum number of hours awarded for this CE activity is 9.75 contact hours.

Continuing Education Accreditation – Pharmacists
 
ACPEThe American Heart Association is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education as a provider of continuing pharmacy education. ACPE Credit: 10.00 Contact Hours or 1.000 CEUs. Universal Program Number: 0256-0000-14-704-H01-P.
**Pharmacy credit must be claimed within 30 days of attendance.

Successful completion of this CE activity includes the following: Students are presented with a Team Dynamics lesson, 10 ACLS cases in hospital-based scenarios, and a written test. While interacting with the program, students assess each patient, formulate a treatment plan based on ACLS guidelines, and provide treatment. Successful completion of the cognitive component, paired with skills verification provided by an AHA ACLS Instructor or a voice assisted manikin system, meets the requirements for successfully completing this activity.

Continuing Education Accreditation – Emergency Medical Services
This continuing education activity is approved by the American Heart Association, an organization accredited by the Continuing Education Coordinating Board for Emergency Medical Services (CECBEMS), for 10.25 Advanced CEHs, activity number 14-AMHA-F3-0226.

Disclosures for HeartCode Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support Part 1:
I. Instructions for Independent Study
Successful completion of this CE activity includes the following:
(1) Complete the team dynamics lesson, pass the 10 medical cases, and complete the written exam.
(2) Complete the course evaluation form.
(3) Print the certificate/statement of credit.

II. There is no additional fee for CME/CE credits for this activity. 

Disclosure Statement:
As a sponsor accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME), American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA), American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (AANP), American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation (ANCC), Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE), and the Continuing Education Coordinating Board for Emergency Medical Services (CECBEMS), the American Heart Association must ensure fair balance, independence, objectivity, and scientific rigor in all of its individually sponsored or joint sponsored educational activities.

Therefore, all faculty and authors participating in continuing education activities sponsored by the American Heart Association must disclose to the audience: (1) any significant financial relationships with the manufacturer(s) of products from the commercial supporter(s) and/or the manufacturer(s) of products or devices discussed in the activity, and (2) unlabeled/unapproved uses of drugs or devices discussed in the activity.  The intent of this disclosure is not to prevent an author with a significant financial or other relationship from contributing but rather to provide participants with information with which they can make their own judgments.  It remains for the participants to determine whether the author’s interests or relationships may influence the content.

I. The following authors/faculty have declared financial interest(s) and/or affiliations:
 
Name:
Steven Brooks, MD — Laerdal Foundation for Acute Medicine (Funded Researcher–Unrestricted, peer-reviewed research grants) and Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada (peer-reviewed salary support award 2010-2011)
 
Peter Panagos, MD—Genentech, Speaker's Bureau- Occasional
 
II. The following authors/faculty have declared NO financial interest(s) and or affiliations:
 
Name:      
Lana Gent, PhD
Jo Haag, RN, MSN
Allen McCullough, PhD
Lisa Sinz, MD
Erik Soderberg, MS
Sallie Young, PharmD

Unlabeled/unapproved uses of drugs or devices included in this activity:
This continuing education computer-based instruction contains recommendations from the American Heart Association Emergency Cardiovascular Care Committee, Subcommittee on Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support, as published in the American Heart Association Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support Provider Manual. Most of these recommendations are based on guidelines developed in an evidence evaluation consensus process for the 2010 International Consensus Conference on Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation and Emergency Cardiovascular Care Science With Treatment Recommendations. The evidence evaluation consists of expert review, an analysis, and discussion of relevant scientific studies published in peer-reviewed journals. The drug treatments recommended in this activity are consistent with the indications, contraindications, and doses approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), with the exceptions listed here.

Alteplase, recombinant (rtPA)

For patients with acute ischemic stroke who are not candidates for intravenous thrombolysis, administration of intra-arterial thrombolysis in an experienced stroke center with immediate access to cerebral angiography and qualified interventionalists may be considered within the first few hours after onset of symptoms. Facilities are encouraged to define criteria to credential individuals who can perform intra-arterial thrombolysis (Class I, Level of Evidence C). Intra-arterial thrombolysis is reasonable in patients who have contraindications to use of intravenous thrombolysis, such as recent surgery (Class IIa, Level of Evidence C). Intra-arterial administration of tPA has not yet been approved by the FDA.

Amiodarone

This drug is FDA approved for life-threatening ventricular arrhythmias, including recurrent VF and hemodynamically unstable VT. All other use constitutes an “off-label” indication, including hemodynamically stable VT, wide-complex tachycardia of uncertain origin, AF, atrial flutter, pre-excitation arrhythmias, and arrhythmias in context of CHF. Similarly, the use of IV amiodarone for shock-refractory VF/VT would not be an off-label use if given as a 150 mg dose, but giving it as a 300 mg bolus for this approved indication could be construed as off-label.

Vasopressin
 
This drug is approved for diabetes insipidus, abdominal distention, and abdominal roentgenography.
 
Vasopressin has not been shown to differ from epinephrine (Class Indeterminate) in cardiac arrest. One dose of vasopressin may replace either the first or the second dose of epinephrine.
 
Note on Medication Doses
 
Emergency cardiovascular care is a dynamic science. Advances in treatment and drug therapies occur rapidly. Readers are advised to check for changes in recommended dose, indications, and contraindications in the following sources: future editions of the AHA Handbook of Emergency Cardiovascular Care for Healthcare Providers and AHA training materials, as well as the package insert product information sheet for each drug.
 
Clinical condition and pharmacokinetics may require drug dose or interval dosing adjustments. Specific parameters may require monitoring, for example, creatinine clearance or QT interval. Some medications mentioned in this activity may not be available in all countries, and may not be specifically approved by regulatory agencies in some countries for a particular indication.

Students with Special Needs:
The American Heart Association does not provide advice to Training Centers on ADA requirements or any other laws, rules or regulations.  Training Centers must determine accommodations necessary to comply with applicable laws.  AHA recommends consultation with legal counsel. 

Core curriculum change requests for accessibility purposes must be scientifically based and approved in advance in writing by the AHA ECC Science & Product Development department; otherwise a student must be able to successfully perform all course requirements (skills and written tests as indicated) to receive a course completion card.  Reasonable accommodations may be made, such as placing the manikin on a table at the height necessary for wheelchair-bound individuals. However the skills must be satisfactorily completed during the testing sessions.

Guidelines for accommodating students with special needs or disabilities may be found in the Program Administration Manual.

Changes: March 2013
Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support Provider Manual (PDF)
[ISBN 978-1-61669-010-6, AHA Product Number 90-1014]

Please make these corrections in your copy. These errors will be corrected in future printings of the Handbook.