How do the AHA pediatric BLS guidelines differ for lay providers compared to healthcare providers?

Updated: Sep 15, 2020
  • Author: Catharine A Bon, MD; Chief Editor: Kirsten A Bechtel, MD  more...
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Healthcare providers trained to assess pediatric pulses should take no more than 10 seconds to feel for a pulse before initiating chest compressions. This is a subtle distinction from lay person BLS, which instructs the immediate initiation of chest compressions if the child is unresponsive and not breathing.

If no pulse is palpated, then chest compressions should be initiated at a rate of 100-120 per minute and at a depth of one third of the anteroposterior diameter of the chest. If a pulse is detected, rescue breaths should be initiated at a rate of 12-20 per minute, or one every 3-5 seconds. If the pulse remains below 60 bpm with evidence of poor perfusion, chest compressions should be initiated. Pulse checks should occur every 2 minutes.

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