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True or False?

True or false? Your 5-year-old patient is in presumed respiratory arrest. She is not responsive and her breathing is labored. She has a pulse of 40 bpm, felt in her femoral artery. You should start by administering CPR for 2 minutes.

If a pediatric patient has a palpable pulse, it does not necessarily mean you can skip CPR. Pediatric patients are considered to have an adequate circulation if their pulse is at least 60 bpm. Otherwise, you need to start CPR. In the case of our 5-year-old, her heart’s 40 bpm are not enough, so you should start chest compressions for 2 min. In adults, a pulse is a pulse is a pulse.

To learn more about PALS, check out our PALS algorithms or study our comprehensive PALS Provider Manual.

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