Pediatric Advanced Life Support
The American Heart Association Pediatric Advanced Life Support Course (PALS) is for healthcare providers who respond to emergencies involving infants and children. There are many healthcare providers who take the PALS course even-though they will rarely see any pediatrics in their facility.
With the ever increasing demand on the emergency room, we are seeing pediatrics show up at the local adult hospital/emergency room. Furthermore, these healthcare workers are better prepared when the cardiac arrest occurs.
CPR for Pediatrics
The adult CPR calls for 30 compressions and 2 ventilations at the rate of 100 compressions per minute. However, the pediatric CPR calls for 15 compressions and 2 ventilations at the rate of 100 compressions per minute. The emphasis on the airway and breathing is of the utmost importance. Focusing on the reversible causes is definitely paramount, never the less, pediatrics go into cardiac arrest primarily as a result of hypoxia.
Focusing on excellent rise and fall of the chest, compressions and early defibrillation is the core to resuscitating the pediatric patient. Therefore, calling for the code cart early on in the code is a must. Attaching the AED and assessing for a “shockable” rhythm early on in the arrest allows you to deliver electrical energy into the myocardium.
Restoring perfusion to the brain, heart and organs as soon as possible further decreases the odds of neurological deficits. Unfortunately, there are many pediatrics who have poor neurological prognosis due to many unforeseen variables. As with the ACLS Course, adults have a poor neurological outcomes as well especially those who have been in cardiac arrest for a significant amount of time.
- Compressions – 15 compressions 2 ventilations – rate of 100 per minute.
- Airway – Ensuring the airway is clear and all obstructions corrected ASAP.
- Breathing – Giving excellent ventilations with rise and fall of the chest.
The efforts of CPR alone will only take you so far in your resuscitation efforts. Moving toward the administration of cardiac drugs such as epinephrine, amiodarone and lidocaine are of the utmost importance when you progress from basic life support to Pediatric Advanced Life Support.
The American Heart Association offers the PALS Course for all healthcare providers who are directly and in-directly in contact with the administration of care to pediatrics Let us take a look at the PALS Algorithm flow chart. This chart is a guideline to be followed per the AHA.
We provide the American Heart Association PALS Certification Course at our training center. Please feel free to contact us if we may be of a service to you or your facility. Our training center is conveniently located 23 minutes from downtown Atlanta, Georgia.