Every five years, the American Heart Association releases new guidelines that make up relevant content for ACLS and PALS courses.
If you’re employed in a pediatric-focused healthcare career or as an EMT who may need to provide emergency care to a patient of any age, it’s critical to know, understand and have the capacity to implement the changes revealed in the new science.
Here is a breakdown of some of the major changes that will be made to the online PALS course:
Compression-to-ventilation ratios in newborns
2005 recommendation: There should be a 3:1 ratio of compressions to ventilations.
New 2010 recommendation: The compression-to-ventilation ratio for newborns remains 3:1; however, if the arrest is known to be of cardiac etiology, a higher ratio of 15:2 should be considered.
Why: The optimal compression-to-ventilation ratio remains unknown, but the 15:2 ratio (most effective with two rescuers) recognizes that newborns with cardiac arrest may benefit from the higher ratio.
AED use in children and infants reassessed in PALS online courses
2005 recommendation: Automatic external defibrillators (AEDs) can be used safely and effectively in children ages one to eight. However, there isn’t sufficient data to make a recommendation on using an AED in infants less than one year old.
2010 recommendation: For infants, a manual defibrillator – not an AED – is preferred. If a manual defibrillator is not readily available, an AED that is equipped with a pediatric dose attenuator is preferred. If neither is available, an AED may be used in life-saving measures.
Why: Newer case reports suggest that an AED may be safe and effective in infants; because survival requires defibrillation when a shockable rhythm is present, a high-dose shock of an AED is preferable to no shock at all.
2005 recommendation: Initiated with the opening of the airway and two rescue breaths before chest compressions began.
2010 recommendation: initiate CPR for children and infants with chest compressions rather than rescue breaths (C-A-B rather than A-B-C).
Why: Changing the CPR sequencing did lead to major debate among experts in pediatric resuscitation. However, in an effort to increase the likelihood of a bystander effectively administering CPR on an infant, the sequencing was changed from A-B-C to C-A-B.
If you’re looking to move into the pediatric healthcare arena, you’ll most likely need to be certified in PALS. Check out Health Education Solutions’ online PALS course for more information and to learn all about the 2010 recommendations for providing life-saving care.
Health Education Solutions also has online PALS recertification if you’ve already made a career for yourself in the healthcare field. Health Education Solutions’ online PALS courses and ACLS courses were produced with Union College with healthcare professionals in mind.