Paediatric Basic Life Support

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 prepubertal.

The paediatric life support algorithm is similar to that of the adult algorithm. The main differences are; on identifying the paediatric patient is not breathing 5 rescue breaths/ventilations should be delivered before checking for further signs of life e.g. a pulse. If after the 5 rescue breaths/ventilations have been delivered and there are no signs of life, then 15 chest compressions should be administered.

In a child chest compressions are delivered at a depth of 5cm or in an infant 4cm. The rate of compressions remains as 100-120 per minute but the ratio of compressions to breaths is 15 compressions to 2 breathes.