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The Ultimate List of ACLS Acronyms and Abbreviations You Need to Know

If you’ve begun the journey of pursuing your Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support (ACLS) certification, you’re probably already well aware of the (seemingly endless) list of abbreviations you’ll need to know in order to pass your exam.

Despite the volume, however, most of these are relatively straightforward.

Those that aren’t can be memorized with the right amount of commitment and some savvy studying.

And, of course, if you’re planning on taking your exam online, having the following list handy can save you a tremendous amount of time and improve your chances of passing on the first try.

ABCDE - Airway, Breathing, Circulation, Differential diagnosis, Exposure

ACE - Angiotensin-converting enzyme

ACLS - Advanced cardiovascular life support

ACS - Acute coronary syndrome

AED - Automated external defibrillator

AHA - American Heart Association

AHF - Acute heart failure

AICD - Automated implantable cardioverter-defibrillator

AMI - Acute myocardial infarction

AV - Atrioventricular

BLS - Basic life support

BP - Blood pressure

CAB - Circulation, airway, breathing

CHF - Congestive heart failure

CPR - Cardiopulmonary resuscitation

CPSS - Cincinnati Prehospital Stroke Scale

CT - Computed tomography

DNAR - Do not attempt resuscitation

ECG - Electrocardiogram

ECPR - Extracorporeal CPR

ED - Emergency Department

EMS - Emergency medical services

ET - Endotracheal

FDA - Food and Drug Administration

FAST - Facial droop, arm drift, speech, time

GI - Gastrointestinal

ICU - Intensive care unit

IHCA - In-hospital cardiac arrest

ILE - Intravenous lipid emulsion

IN - Intranasal

IM - Intramuscular

IO - Intraosseous

IV - Intravenous

LMA - Laryngeal mask airway

LV - Left ventricle

mA - Millaperes

MACE - Major adverse cardiac events

MAP - Mean arterial pressure

MI - myocardial infarction

mmHG - Millimeters of mercury

NIH - National Institutes of Health

NIHSS - National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale

NINDS - National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke

NPA - Nasopharyngeal airway

NSTEMI - Non-ST segment myocardial infarction

OHCA - Out-of-hospital cardiac arrest

OPA - Oropharyngeal airway

PAD - Public access defibrillation

PCI - Percutaneous coronary intervention

PE - Pulmonary embolism

PEA - Pulseless electrical activity

PETCO2 - Partial pressure of end-tidal carbon dioxide

PPCI - Primary percutaneous coronary intervention

PSVT - Paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia

PT - Prothrombin time

PVCs - Premature ventricular contractions

pVT - Pulseless ventricular tachycardia

ROSC - Return of spontaneous circulation

RRT - Rapid response team

RV - Right ventricle

SBP - Systolic blood pressure

STEMI - ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction

SVO2 - Central venous oxygen saturation

SVT - Supraventricular tachycardia

TCP - transcutaneous pacing

TIMI - Thrombolysis in myocardial infarction

TTM - targeted temperature management

UA - Unstable angina

VF / V-Fib - Ventricular fibrillation

VT - Ventricular tachycardia

So, there you have it: a comprehensive list of abbreviations and acronyms that you will likely see during your online ACLS exam.

For more help studying, here is a list of all the ACLS algorithms you’ll need to know.

And when you’re ready to test your knowledge, this ACLS practice exam will get you ready for the real thing.

Best of luck!

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