CPR & CPR First Aid Frequently Asked Questions
BLS stands for Basic Life Support. Although BLS courses are designed for healthcare providers, HeartSaver courses are intended for people who do not work in healthcare but require certification for their employment. Nurses or nursing students, CNAs, physical therapists, dentists, pharmacists, and other healthcare providers are examples of healthcare providers as well as those entering the healthcare field. Those needing an OSHA-approved course, daycare workers needing a state-approved course, or anyone interested in learning CPR are examples of those needing a Heartsaver CPR course. BLS focuses on the use of two rescuers doing CPR and utilizing a team-based approach when performing CPR on the patient.
However, HeartSaver is concentrated on resuscitation outcomes that can be achieved by a single rescuer. Besides providing a basic overview of CPR, BLS will also explain rescue breathing, using advanced airways, and how to use a bag-mask device, which is not covered in HeartSaver.
The AHA offers continuing medical education (CME) or continuing education (CE) credits for some of its CPR and ECC courses, and CME/CE may also be offered for live events. Whether you have completed a CPR & First Aid training course in-person or online, or if you have attended an AHA event for which there are credits available, use the information below to claim and obtain your CME/CE certificate.
Currently, AHA CE/CME is available for the following instructor led courses.
Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support (ACLS) – for EMS Students only
Basic Life Support (BLS) – for EMS Students only
Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS) – for EMS Students only
Pediatric Advanced Emergency Assessment, Recognition and Stabilization (PEARS®) – for EMS Students only
Claim your eCard via Email:
- You will receive an email from eCards@heart.org with a link inviting you to claim your eCard online. Please make sure to check your spam or junk folder. This link will direct you to the Student Profile webpage; please confirm that all information on that page (First Name, Last Name, Email, Phone Number (if entered for claiming by SMS), eCard Code, AHA Instructor Name, and Training Center information) is correct. If it is not, contact your Training Center.
- Set up your security question and answer. Accept the terms of the site and click “Submit.”
- Complete the survey on the course you just completed. Your answers to these questions will help improve the quality of future AHA training.
- After you complete the survey, your eCard will display. You can save or print your eCard.
- Once your eCard has been claimed, you will receive an email notification; please save this confirmation email for your records.
- Claiming your eCard is the only way you can show proof of course completion to your employer. If you need to email your eCard, please see step 5 under “How to View your Claimed eCard” (link to this answer when building the page).
Claim your eCard via eCards Site:
- Visit the eCards Search page. On the “Student” tab, enter your First Name, Last Name, and Email (ensure this is the email address that was used to sign up for the course) OR enter your eCard Code at the bottom of the page (ask your Training Center for this code). Click “Search.”
- If all the information was entered correctly, you will be brought to a page that shows “My eCards.” Look for your eCard that is “Unclaimed” and follow the steps through the site to claim your card, including setting up a security question and answer. If your eCard cannot be found, contact your Training Center to verify your information.
Claim your eCard via SMS text:
- During or after class, opt-in to claim/view your eCard by texting “eCard” to the number 51736.
- If the message is sent correctly per the guidance of your Instructor, you will receive instructions via text message on how to claim your eCard.
- If a you attempt to opt-in and your number is not in the system, you will receive a message that your phone number was not found.
How to View your Claimed eCard
- Visit the eCards Search page. On the “Student” tab, enter your First Name, Last Name, and Email (ensure this is the email address that was used to sign up for the course) OR enter your eCard Code at the bottom of the page. Click “Search.”
- Answer your security question.
- If all the information entered is correct, you will be brought to a page that shows “My eCards.” If your eCard cannot be found, contact your Training Center to verify your information.
- To download an eCard, select the size you would like (Full or Wallet) where it says, “View eCard.
- To email an eCard, select “Email Cards,” enter the email address, and click “Email.”
How an Employer Can Verify a Student’s Claimed eCard
Note: The student must have claimed their eCard in order for an employer to view it.
- Visit the eCards Search page. On the “Employer” tab, enter the eCard Code (up to 20), and click “Verify.”
- The next page will show the eCard Status of the inputted code(s).
The AHA does not mandate a minimum age requirement for learning CPR. The ability to perform CPR is based more on body strength than age. Studies have shown that children as young as nine years old can learn and retain CPR skills. Please speak our customer support team if you have any concerns.
The science in the official AHA Guidelines for CPR and ECC shows that victims have a greater chance of survival from cardiac arrest when high-quality CPR includes use of an AED.
Heartsaver® CPR AED is probably best for you.
Our Heartsaver Courses are for anyone with limited or no medical training who needs a course completion card for job, regulatory or other requirements. While these courses are designed to meet OSHA requirements, OSHA does not review or approve any courses for compliance.
First responders or professional rescuers generally include fire, police, and emergency medical personnel. These types of prehospital professionals usually need to complete a Basic Life Support (BLS) course.
The AHA’s Heartsaver Pediatric First Aid CPR AED Course is designed to meet regulatory requirements for childcare workers in all 50 United States. The AHA offers this course in both blended learning and classroom-based formats.
In CPR and first aid training,
An infant is younger than one year
A child is older than one year and has not reached puberty
An adult is anyone who has gone through or is going through puberty
Our CPR and first aid courses involve hands-on practice sessions, so wear something comfortable. If you have long hair, it is best to wear it back.
No. Each student must have his or her own current and appropriate manual or workbook readily available for use before, during and after the course.
The AHA owns the copyrights to AHA textbooks, manuals and other CPR, first aid, and advanced cardiovascular care training materials. These materials may not be copied, in whole or in part, without the prior written consent of the AHA.
Course compltions cards are typically emailed to you the next busienss day or earlier.
Yes, AHA course completion cards are accepted in all US states.
Hands-Only CPR is CPR without mouth-to-mouth breaths. It is recommended for use by bystanders who see a teen or adult suddenly collapse in an “out-of-hospital” setting (such as at home, at work or in a park). It consists of two easy steps:
- Call 9-1-1 (or send someone to do that).
- Push hard and fast in the center of the chest at a rate of 100-120 pushes per minute.
The AHA recommends that healthcare providers use conventional CPR with a combination of breaths and compressions. Conventional CPR should also be used for
- All infants (up to age 1)
- Children (up to puberty)
- Anyone found already unconscious and not breathing normally
- Any victims of drowning, drug overdose, collapse due to breathing problems, or prolonged cardiac arrest
The AHA does not endorse "cough CPR," a coughing procedure widely publicized on the Internet. As noted in the AHA Guidelines for CPR and ECC, “cough CPR” is not useful for unresponsive victims and should not be taught to lay rescuers. For more information, see the Cough CPR information page on Heart.org.
No. The AHA does not certify people in CPR, first aid, or advanced cardiovascular life support skills; the AHA verifies that, at the time a person successfully completed training, he or she was able to perform skills satisfactorily.