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Guidelines for pediatric advanced life support

Topic Outline

GRAPHICS

CALCULATORS

INTRODUCTION

The American Heart Association (AHA) Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS) program provides a structured approach to the assessment and treatment of the critically ill pediatric patient [1]. The AHA guidelines for pediatric resuscitation were updated in 2010 to reflect advances and research in clinical care using new evidence from a variety of sources ranging from large clinical trials to animal models [2]. The PALS content includes:

  • Overview of assessment
  • Recognition and management of respiratory distress and failure
  • Recognition and management of shock
  • Recognition and management of cardiac arrhythmias
  • Recognition and management of cardiac arrest
  • Postresuscitation management of patients with pulmonary and cardiac arrest
  • Review of pharmacology

The clinician should primarily focus on prevention of cardiopulmonary failure through early recognition and management of respiratory distress, respiratory failure, and shock that can lead to cardiac arrest from hypoxia, acidosis, and ischemia.

This topic will discuss the advanced components of recognition and treatment of respiratory failure, shock, cardiopulmonary failure, and cardiac arrhythmias in children. Basic life support in children and guidelines for cardiac resuscitation in adults are discussed separately. (See "Basic life support in infants and children" and "Advanced cardiac life support (ACLS) in adults".)

OVERVIEW OF ASSESSMENT

The assessment of respiratory distress and circulatory compromise in children, including the common findings, is covered in greater detail separately. (See "Initial assessment and stabilization of children with respiratory or circulatory compromise".)

                                      

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Literature review current through: Jul 2014. | This topic last updated: Jan 31, 2013.
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References
Top
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