PALS Algorithms You Need to Know

PALS Algorithms You Need to Know

Mackenzie Thompson

by Mackenzie Thompson

Life Saver, NHCPS

posted on Aug 5, 2016, at 8:39 pm

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YOU CAN’T TAKE YOUR PEDIATRIC ADVANCED LIFE SUPPORT (PALS) CERTIFICATION without studying and memorizing the PALS algorithms first. PALS algorithms were designed to help medical professionals working with pediatric patients best understand how to implement PALS protocols into practice during emergencies. Having a strong background in algorithm memorization will ensure PALS certification exam success! If you’re new to PALS, check out our free PALS Online Handbook.

Below are listed PALS algorithms to study for your PALS certification exam:

  • Pediatric Post-Resuscitation Care
  • Pediatric Cardiac Arrest
  • Pediatric Tachycardia
  • Pediatric Bradycardia with Pulse/Poor Perfusion
  • Pediatric BLS

Studying for the PALS exam, like studying for any test, can be a demanding task. Our tips?

  • Study only one or two algorithms per day
  • Teach others what you have learned
  • Redraw and rewrite the algorithms on another sheet of paper
  • Take regular study breaks after 45 minutes of continual studying
  • Study in different spots such as your desk, a library or coffee shop
  • Take PALS practice exams every day you study
  • Study in a group

Everyone learns differently, so experiment with different tactics. Test yourself and see which study techniques work best for you. Below, we’ve listed the algorithms straight from our own online PALS course:

Pediatric Post Resuscitation Care

PALS Pediatric Post Resuscitation Care Algorithm

Pediatric Cardiac Arrest

PALS Pediatric Cardiac Arrest Algorithm

Pediatric Tachycardia

PALS Responding to Tachycardia Algorithm

Pediatric Bradycardia with Pulse/Poor Perfusion

PALS Pediatric Bradycardia with Pulse/Poor Perfusional Algorithm

Pediatric BLS

PALS Pediatric BLS Algorithm

Knowing the PALS algorithms isn’t the only procedure you can utilize to study for your certification exam. Understanding PALS medications and taking practice exams are a couple other ways to study!

Other resources to help you pass your PALS certification exam:

Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS) Manual

PALS Introduction - Get a glimpse of the Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS) course. Familiarize yourself with the elements of the course, including guidelines and protocols according to the AHA to help children and infants.

PALS Resuscitation Team - Learn the importance of teamwork, communication, and roles and responsibilities of team leader and team members during resuscitation.

PALS Basic Life Support - Familiarize yourself with Basic Life Support (BLS) for children and infants. Learn about the set protocols for one-rescuer and two-rescuer BLS for both children and infants.

PALS BLS for Children (Age 1 to Puberty) - Get your hands on step-by-step procedures for one-rescuer and two-rescuer BLS for children.

PALS BLS for Infants (0 to 12 months old) - Learn about the major differences between BLS for children and BLS for infants. Additionally, get your hands on step-by-step procedures for one-rescuer and two-rescuer BLS for infants.

PALS Pediatric BLS Algorithm - Utilize a detailed infographic to further your knowledge about the pediatric BLS algorithm.

Normal Heart Anatomy and Physiology - By understanding the normal electrical function of the heart, it will be easier to understand abnormal functions.

PALS A Systematic Approach  - Learn what to do when you find an unresponsive child. Access the algorithm for the systematic way of handling the situation.

PALS Initial Assessment: Diagnose and Treat - Become an expert in the Diagnose and Treat phase by following the ABCDE (airway, breathing, circulation, disability, exposure) protocol as part of your initial assessment. Further, familiarize yourself with neurological assessments including the AVPU (alert, voice, pain, unresponsive) Pediatric Response Scale and the Glasgow Coma Scale (GSC).

PALS Second Assessment: Diagnose and Treat- Become an expert in the second assessment of the Diagnose and Treat phase by following the acronym SPAM (Signs and symptoms, Past medical history, Allergies, Medications). Further, familiarize yourself with life-threatening issues that may interfere with perfusion and oxygenation during treatment.

PALS Life Threatening Issues - Determine if the patient is experiencing respiratory distress/arrest, bradycardia, tachycardia, shock or cardiac arrest.

PALS Intraosseus Access - Learn the step-by-step procedure with the given algorithm and video to perform intraosseous access.

PALS Bag-Mask Ventilation - Learn how and when to perform the two types of bag-mask ventilations: self-inflating mask and flow-inflating masks.

PALS Endotracheal Intubation - Learn the circumstances under which to use endotracheal intubation.

PALS Basic Airway Adjuncts - Learn the circumstances under which to use the following basic airway adjuncts: oropharyngeal airway (OPA), nasopharyngeal airway (NPA), and suctioning.

PALS Automated External Defibrillator (AED) Use - Learn the importance of and criteria for using an AED and the step-by-step procedure on how to use it in children and infants. Further, familiarize yourself with the 2015 AHA guidelines for defibrillation and AED use.

PALS Pharmacological Tools - Refresh your memory on PALS medication. Review the provided table to reference information about pediatrics drug dosage, routes, and uses of common drugs.

PALS Resuscitation Tools - Learn to diagnose, treat, and facilitate care through various medical devices, including intraosseus access, bag-mask ventilation, endotracheal intubation, basic airway adjuncts, basic airway tech, and automated external defibrillator

PALS Basic Airway Technique - Learn the step-by-step procedures of inserting OPAs and NPAs as well as get some tips on suctioning.

PALS Recognize Respiratory Distress or Failure - Know how to recognize respiratory distress and failure through the given list of signs and symptoms. In addition, learn the causes of respiratory distress and failure in the pediatric population.

PALS Respond Respiratory Distress or Failure - Know how to respond to and manage respiratory distress and failure in children and infants. Further, learn about treatment for croup, foreign body, anaphylaxis, bronchiolitis, asthma, pneumonia, pneumonitis, pulmonary edema, overdose, and trauma.

PALS Recognize Bradycardia - Know how to recognize bradycardia, in particular the following types: sinus bradycardia, first degree AV block, type I second degree AV block (Mobitz I), type II second degree AV block (Mobitz II), and third degree AV block (complete).

PALS Respond to Bradycardia - Know how to respond to symptomatic bradycardia by checking the heart rate, performing the ABC survey, checking for signs and symptoms, providing drugs, and considering expert consultation in case drugs are unsuccessful.

PALS Bradycardia Algorithm - Utilize a detailed infographic to further your knowledge about the pediatric bradycardia with pulse/poor perfusion algorithm.

PALS Recognize Tachycardia - Know how to recognize tachycardia through the listed signs and symptoms and learn about several types of tachycardia, including sinus tachycardia, supraventricular tachycardia, atrial fibrillation, atrial flutter, and ventricular tachycardia. Further, learn the differences between narrow and wide QRS complexes of tachyarrhythmia.

PALS Respond to Tachycardia - Know how to respond and manage tachyarrhythmia by assessing pulse and perfusion. Utilize a detailed infographic to further your knowledge about tachycardia.

PALS Recognize Shock - Learn the difference between compensated and uncompensated shock. Further, familiarize yourself with the types of shocks: hypovolemic, distributive (includes septic, anaphylactic, and neurogenic shocks), cardiogenic, and obstructive. Study the description, signs, and symptoms of the shocks to be able to recognize them.

PALS Respond to Shock - Know how to respond to the following shocks: hypovolemic, distributive (includes septic, anaphylactic, and neurogenic shocks), cardiogenic, and obstructive.

PALS Recognize Cardiac Arrest - Know how to recognize cardiac arrests by studying its reversible causes (the H’s and the T’s). Further, learn to recognize cardiopulmonary failure by assessing the ABCDE (airway, breathing, circulation, disability, exposure); and learn to recognize arrest rhythms such as asystole, pulseless electrical activity (PEA), ventricular fibrillation (VFiB), and pulseless ventricular tachycardia (VTach).

PALS Respond to Cardiac Arrest - Know how to respond to cardiac arrest in pediatrics. Utilize a detailed infographic to further your knowledge about the pediatric cardiac arrest algorithm.

PALS Post-Resuscitation Care - Learn to provide post-resuscitation care in case of a return of spontaneous circulation (ROSC). Study the post-resuscitation systematic approach to care for the following systems: respiratory, cardiovascular, neurological, renal, gastrointestinal, and hematological.

PALS Post-Resuscitation Care Algorithm - Utilize a detailed infographic to further your knowledge about the pediatric post-resuscitation care algorithm.

About Mackenzie

Mackenzie is a lover of world travel, photography, design, style and Chinese cooking. She is passionate about working towards a purpose, recently graduated from Indiana University with a degree in Media and Marketing, and is currently residing in Manhattan.

Contact Mackenzie at mackenzie.thompson@nhcps.com.
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