FREE PALS Cardiac Arrest Questions and Answers

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A male 8-year-old is brought to the emergency room with congenital cardiac disease. Bradycardia, fatigue, nausea, and impaired mental status are among the symptoms they exhibit. Cardiac arrest due to bradycardia-induced PEA is revealed by an ECG. Which T or H should be taken into account?

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In a child who is not responding, where on the body is the best place to feel their pulse?

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In a child who is not responding, the carotid pulse is the best location to assess for a pulse. The carotid artery is located in the neck, and feeling for a pulse here allows for a rapid assessment of central perfusion. It's essential to use gentle pressure when palpating the carotid pulse to avoid compressing the artery excessively, especially in pediatric patients. If the carotid pulse is absent, it suggests a critical condition requiring immediate attention and potentially initiating cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).

After a child has advanced to a situation where cardiac arrest has been diagnosed, which intervention should be given priority?

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When a child has advanced to a situation where cardiac arrest has been diagnosed, the priority intervention is to initiate chest compressions immediately. Chest compressions are crucial for providing circulation and delivering oxygenated blood to vital organs, including the brain and heart, during cardiac arrest. Early and high-quality chest compressions are critical for improving outcomes in pediatric cardiac arrest.

While identifying the rhythm, early defibrillation (if indicated), and identifying and treating reversible causes are also essential components of pediatric resuscitation, initiating chest compressions takes precedence as it is the first step in providing basic life support and maintaining perfusion to vital organs.

Which of the following does not usually result in a youngster experiencing a sudden cardiac arrest?

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For adults, children, and newborns, what is the appropriate rate of chest compressions per minute?

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For adults, children, and newborns, the appropriate rate of chest compressions during cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is 100-120 compressions per minute. This rate ensures adequate circulation and perfusion to vital organs while maintaining effective chest compressions. It's essential to maintain this compression rate within the recommended range to optimize the chances of successful resuscitation during CPR.

How many seconds should be the maximum duration for pulse checks on children?

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When assessing the pulse in children, the maximum duration for a pulse check should generally be limited to 10 seconds. This timeframe allows for an accurate assessment of the pulse rate while minimizing delays in initiating appropriate interventions, especially during critical situations such as pediatric cardiac arrest. It's important to perform pulse checks efficiently and promptly, as prolonged delays in assessment can compromise patient care and outcomes.

What comes next in the treatment plan for a patient who has a chest needle inserted for a tension pneumothorax?

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After a chest needle is inserted for tension pneumothorax, the next step in the treatment plan is typically to insert a chest tube. A chest tube is inserted into the pleural space to drain air or fluid, relieving the pressure that has built up and causing the pneumothorax. This intervention helps re-expand the lung and restores normal breathing mechanics. It's an essential step in the management of tension pneumothorax and is often performed urgently in the emergency department or other acute care settings.

At what depth are chest compressions for infants and children appropriate?

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For infants and children, the appropriate depth of chest compressions during cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is at least one-third of the anteroposterior diameter of the chest. This depth allows for adequate compression of the heart to generate sufficient circulation and perfusion to vital organs. It's essential to provide chest compressions with appropriate depth while performing CPR on infants and children to maximize the chances of successful resuscitation.

What condition usually results in pediatric cardiac arrest, secondary to shock or respiratory failure?

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In pediatric cardiac arrest, shock or respiratory failure is often preceded by tissue hypoxia, where there is insufficient oxygen supply to meet the body's metabolic demands. This can result from various conditions such as respiratory distress, sepsis, trauma, or cardiac dysfunction. Ultimately, tissue hypoxia can lead to cardiac arrest if not promptly recognized and treated. Therefore, addressing tissue hypoxia and restoring adequate oxygenation are crucial components of pediatric resuscitation efforts.

Which presentation rhythm is most frequently seen in kids going into cardiac arrest?

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In pediatric cardiac arrest, the most frequently observed presentation rhythm is pulseless electrical activity (PEA) or asystole. PEA refers to the presence of electrical activity on the electrocardiogram (ECG) without a palpable pulse. Asystole, on the other hand, is the absence of any discernible electrical activity or mechanical contraction of the heart. These rhythms indicate a profound lack of effective cardiac output and require immediate intervention as per pediatric advanced life support (PALS) guidelines. While pulseless ventricular tachycardia and ventricular fibrillation are also life-threatening rhythms, they are less common presentations in pediatric cardiac arrest scenarios. Third-degree atrioventricular (AV) block is a bradyarrhythmia and is not typically associated with pediatric cardiac arrest.

Which of the following Hs and Ts should always be taken into account in pediatric crises where cardiac arrest or altered mental status is recorded, per the ILCOR ACLS Provider Manual?

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