Basic Life Support (BLS) makes use of CPR and cardiac defibrillation whenever an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) is present. When there is restricted access to advanced health care systems such as medications and monitoring equipment, BLS is the alternative life support method used. Before the arrival of emergency medical services (EMS), BLS is being performed. In all situations, the foundation of both BLS and PALS interventions is superior CPR as it gives the patient the best chance of survival by stimulating circulation to the brain, heart, and other vital organs until return of spontaneous circulation (ROSC).
This handbook discusses PALS and only includes a limited discussion on BLS. PALS providers are expected to carry out BLS properly. It is important that PALS providers be experienced in BLS first. Superior BLS technique is, after all, the foundation of PALS.
Differences in BLS for Infants and BLS for Children
|INFANTS (BIRTH – AGE 1)||CHILDREN (AGE 1 – PUBERTY)|
|For children and infants, if two rescuers are available to do CPR, the compression to breaths ratio is 15:2.|
If only one rescuer is available, the ratio is 30:2 for all age groups.
|Check for infant’s pulse using the brachial artery on the inside of the upper arm between the infant’s elbow and shoulder||Check for child’s pulse using the carotid artery on the side of the neck or femoral pulse on the inner thigh in the crease between the leg and groin.|
|Perform compressions on the infant using two fingers (if you are by yourself) or two thumbs with hands encircling the infant’s chest (with two rescuers).||Perform compressions on a child using one or two handed chest compressions depending on the size of the child.|
|Compression depth should be one third of the chest depth; for most infants, this is about 1.5 inches.||Compression depth should be one third of the chest depth; for most children, this is about two inches.|
|If you are the only person at the scene and find an unresponsive infant or child, perform CPR for 2 minutes BEFORE you call EMS or go for an AED.|
|If you witness a cardiac arrest in an infant or child, call EMS and get an AED before starting CPR.|