Paediatric Life Support with defibrillator

It is often asked at what age a responder should use the paediatric rather than adult algorithm. This is usually used if the patient is pre pubertal.

Paediatric BLS is similar to adult BLS. The key differences are that CPR begins with5 rescue breathes before assessing signs of life e.g. a carotid pulse, and then is followed by a 15:2 ratio of compressions to breathes. Please see the BLS chapter for further details.

As in the adult patient the AED will prompt the rescuers to attach the pads to the patient’s chest and plug in the connector to the AED. Smaller paediatric pads should be used if possible. If they are not available then adult pads can be used. In a larger child these can be placed in the same anterolateral positions as described for the adult patient but in smaller children the pads should be placed on the front and back of the patient. The pads often have pictorial diagrams on their reverse to assist in remembering the placement positions.

The algorithm is similar for children as with adults remembering the CPR is delivered with 15 compressions to 2 breaths. While using an AED in shock able rhythm the AED will deliver the energy as per the pads placed on the patient’s chest.