Saving a child’s life is the ultimate goal of Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS). When dealing with a child or infant experiencing intense injury or illness, your responses can define the difference between life and death.
PALS is a set of industry-approved guidelines aimed at informing people how to properly respond to emergencies. These actions are presented in a straightforward way to allow for easier recall during times of urgency. The guidelines presented here have been developed from intensive review of existing protocols, patient case studies, and clinical research, and, importantly, they reflect the views of the experts in the field.
The superior standard in the United States and other countries is the course curriculum published by the American Heart Association (AHA). The guidelines for Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) and Emergency Cardiovascular Care (ECC) are updated every five years. This handbook is a product of the most recent AHA publication of PALS and will occasionally compare the old and updated recommended techniques for a more thorough review of the subject matter.
Any individuals who wish to execute any of the PALS guidelines are expected to have developed and maintained competence with not only the resources provided in this handbook, but also actual life-saving skills, including Basic Life Support (BLS) interventions. People hoping to perform PALS on infants and children should be highly knowledgeable of BLS techniques for these age groups. In addition to this handbook, it is recommended that individuals seek supplementary training to continually refine their knowledge of the basic concepts of CPR and other physical skills.
A proper execution of PALS requires quick and accurate assessment of the child or infant’s clinical condition, as well as proper selection and delivery of the appropriate solutions for the given emergency. This applies to both the initial assessment of a child or infant’s condition and the reassessment throughout the treatment period while employing PALS guidelines.
PALS guidelines assume that the rescuer may not possess all the required information needed from the child or the infant or all of the resources necessary to properly execute PALS at all times. For example, if an individual is using PALS on the side of a road, it is likely he or she will not have access to advanced devices for measuring breathing or arterial blood pressure. In any case, PALS providers have the mindset to provide the best possible care in such circumstances. PALS algorithms are derived from the contemporary understanding of the best practices in surviving life-threatening cases and are aimed at achieving positive outcomes for the child or infant during an emergency.