Want to watch this video? Sign up for the course here. Or enter your email below to watch one free video.

Unlock This Video Now for FREE

This video is normally available to paying customers.
You may unlock this video for FREE. Enter your email address for instant access AND to receive ongoing updates and special discounts related to this topic.

If a layperson or healthcare provider considers that there are no ‘signs of life’, CPR should be started immediately.

Feeling for a pulse is not a reliable way to determine if there is an effective or inadequate circulation, and palpation of the pulse is not the sole determinant of the need for chest compressions. The presence or absence of ‘signs of life’, such as response to stimuli, normal breathing (rather than abnormal gasps) or spontaneous movement must be looked for as part of the child’s circulatory assessment.

If a healthcare provider does feel for a pulse in an unresponsive patient, they must be certain that one is present for them NOT to start CPR. In this situation, there are often other signs of life present. Lay rescuers should not be taught to feel for a pulse as part of the assessment of a need for CPR.

The decision to start CPR should take less than 10 seconds from starting the initial assessment of the child’s circulatory status and if there is still doubt after that time, start CPR

Although ventilation remains a very important component of CPR, rescuers who are unable or unwilling to provide breaths should be encouraged to perform at least compression-only CPR. A patient is far more likely to be harmed if the bystander does nothing.

All providers should be encouraged to initiate CPR in children even if they haven't been taught specific paediatric techniques. CPR should be started with the compression-to-ventilation ratio that is familiar and for most, this will be 30:2. The paediatric modifications to adult CPR should be taught to those who care for children but are unlikely to have to resuscitate them. The specific paediatric sequence incorporating the 15:2 ratio is primarily intended for those who have the potential to resuscitate children as part of their role.