Basic Life Support

Basic Life Support

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Patient collapse (i.e. sudden loss of consciousness) or impaired consciousness may occur without warning. It is vital that the podiatrist is able to come to a rapid working diagnosis of the most likely cause of the patient's impaired level of consciousness, in order to instigate the most appropriate lifesaving intervention.

In some cases, delay in instigating the appropriate action could lead to patient death. Proof of CPD in Basic Life Support is a formal requirement for those administering local analgesia. You'll be able to access this resource for 12 months after purchase.

Aims and Objectives

You will:

  • Consider a range of presentations of sudden patient collapse/impaired consciousness
  • Consider a range of provisional diagnoses of the causes of sudden patient collapse/impaired consciousness
  • Reach a working diagnosis of the cause of sudden patient collapse/impaired consciousness
  • Be familiar with the range of first-line treatment strategies that will ensure basic life support, appropriate to your provisional diagnosis of the patient's condition

The 10 scenarios included are example incidents in which the patient undergoes sudden or unexpected collapse or shows impaired consciousness.

Each of the five answer options requires the podiatrist to both identify the most likely cause of the patient's collapse/impaired consciousness, and identify the most appropriate first aid intervention for the condition.

Each correct answer is supported by an explanatory text that notes the pointers within each scenario that suggest the most appropriate working diagnosis; they also outline the underlying pathology and inform the proposed action taken by the rescuer.

Please note:

For all cases of sudden patient collapse:

  • All aspects of the events leading to the adverse incident, your working diagnosis, and all actions you take to resolve the problem should be noted as a signed and dated entry within the patient case notes
  • Medical help must be sought if the patient does not make a full recovery to normal within a few minutes. You should supply them with details of all aspects of the events leading to the adverse incident, your working diagnosis, and all actions you took to attempt to resolve the problem
  • If the patient recovers without further adverse incident, they should be assisted home by a friend or relative; you should provide them with a letter to take to their GP, outlining the nature of the adverse event and your actions
  • It is also recommended that the reader checks the Resuscitation Council (UK) website ( regularly, for their most recent updates on basic life support (BLS). 

Certificate and CPD Points

This ten-question module has been written by expert authors from the Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists faculty of Podiatric Medicine and General Practice. 

Upon successful completion of this module a printable certificate of competence will be made available to you. This module gives you 2 hours of CPD points for your annual CPD assessment.


Author: Dr Jean Mooney, BSc(Hons), MA, PhD, Cert Ed (F&HE), FHEA, DPodM, Adv Dip Biomech, FChS, FCPodS, FCPodMed.