Basic Life Support (BLS) utilizes cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and cardiac defibrillation, when an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) is available. BLS is the life support method used when there is limited access to advanced interventions such as medications and monitoring devices. In general, BLS is performed until EMS arrives to provide a higher level of care. In every setting, HIGH QUALITY CPR is the foundation of both BLS and PALS interventions. High quality CPR gives a victim the greatest chance of survival by providing circulation to the heart, brain, and other organs until return of spontaneous circulation (ROSC).

This guide covers PALS and only briefly describes BLS. All PALS providers are assumed to be able to perform BLS appropriately. It is essential that PALS providers be proficient in BLS first. High quality BLS is the foundation of PALS.

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 the pulse in the infant using the brachial artery on the inside of the upper arm between the infant’s elbow and shoulder. Check for pulse in child 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 a child using 2 fingers (if you are by yourself) or 2 thumbs with hands encircling the infant’s chest (with 2 providers). Perform compressions on a child using one or two handed chest compressions depending on the size of the child.
Compression depth should be 13 of the chest depth; for most infants, this is about 112 inches. Compression depth should be 13 of the chest depth; for most children, this is about 2 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.