PALS Class Course & Materials FAQ’s

Course Information
Q: What is the PALS Course?
A: The American Heart Association’s PALS Course has been updated to reflect new science in the 2010
American Heart Association Guidelines for Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation and Emergency Cardiovascular
Care (2010 AHA Guidelines for CPR & ECC). This class, video-based, Instructor-led course uses a
series of simulated pediatric emergencies to reinforce the important concepts of a systematic approach to
pediatric assessment, basic life support, PALS treatment algorithms, effective resuscitation and team
dynamics. The goal of the PALS Course is to improve the quality of care provided to seriously ill or injured
children, resulting in improved outcomes.

Q: Specifically, what content is taught in the PALS Class Course?
A: The new PALS Course contains key changes reflecting science from the 2015 AHA Guidelines for CPR &
ECC. Specific content covered is listed below:
· 1-rescuer child CPR and AED use
· 1- and 2-rescuer infant CPR
· Management of respiratory emergencies
· Rhythm disturbances and electrical therapy
· Vascular access
· Resuscitation team concept
· Cardiac, respiratory and shock case discussions and simulations
· Systematic approach to pediatric assessment.

Q: What is different about the 2011 PALS Course versus the 2006 version?
A: The 2011 PALS Course is updated to reflect the 2015 AHA Guidelines for CPR & ECC. Other key changes
· After ROSC, titrate oxygen to ≥94% but <100% to limit risk of hyperoxemia
· Defibrillate with an initial dose of 2 to 4 J/kg; subsequent shocks at least 4 J/kg but not to exceed 10 J/kg
· Stronger recommendation against routine use of calcium in cardiac arrest because it does not improve
survival and may be harmful
· Therapeutic hypothermia may be considered if patient remains comatose after resuscitation
· Monitor exhaled CO2 in intubated patients; this may help determine the effectiveness of chest compressions
during CPR
· New Team Dynamics Debriefing Tool
· New PALS Systematic Approach
· Instructor materials cover full and update courses, as well as HeartCode PALS Parts 2 and 3
· Format similar to that of ACLS.

Q: Who is the target audience for the PALS Course?
A: The PALS Course is for healthcare providers who respond to emergencies in infants and children. This
includes personnel in emergency response, emergency medicine, intensive care and critical care units,
such as physicians, nurses, paramedics and others, who need a PALS course completion card for job or
other requirements.

Q: What is the format of the PALS Course?
A: PALS is a class-based, Instructor-led course. In the course, skills are taught in large-group
sessions and small-group learning and testing stations where case-based scenarios are presented in
the course video. The course includes skills practice and testing.
This course uses a recommended ratio of 6 students to 1 Instructor to 1 manikin or station. The CPR
and AED and Management of Respiratory Emergencies stations require 1 Instructor and 2 manikins
for 6 students per station.

Q: What are the course completion requirements for PALS?
A: For course completion, students must successfully:

· Pass the 1- and 2-Rescuer Child BLS With AED and 1- and 2-Rescuer Infant BLS Skills Tests
· Actively participate in, practice and complete all learning stations
· Complete the closed-book written exam with a minimum score of 84%
· Pass 2 PALS core case scenarios (1 cardiac and 1 respiratory or shock) as a team leader, providing
appropriate medical treatment and demonstrating effective team dynamics.

Q: Approximately how long does the PALS Course take to complete?
A: Approximate course completion times are listed below. Times are based on a recommended ratio of 6
students to 1 Instructor to 1 manikin or station (NOTE: the CPR and AED and Management of Respiratory
Emergencies stations require 1 Instructor and 2 manikins for 6 students per station). Using different ratios
will result in increased course completion times.

· Full course: 14 hours 10 minutes, plus additional time for breaks and lunch
· Update with all optional stations: 8 hours 20 minutes, plus additional time for breaks and lunch
· Update without optional stations: 6 hours 20 minutes, plus additional time for breaks and lunch.

Q: Does successful completion of the PALS Course result in an AHA course completion card?
A: Yes. Students who successfully complete the requirements of the PALS Course will receive an AHA
PALS Provider course completion card, valid for two years.

Q: Are there prerequisites for taking the PALS Course?
A: Before taking PALS, students should have a mastery of infant and child BLS skills. They should also be able
to recognize various heart rhythms, be familiar with different types of airway management tools and their
use and have knowledge of the drugs commonly used to treat cardiovascular irregularities.

To help students adequately prepare for the PALS Course, the AHA highly recommends that each student
complete the online PALS Precourse Self-Assessment, available through the AHA Student Website
( To access the AHA Student Website, students and Instructors will need an
access code, which is included on page ii of each PALS Provider Manual and PALS Instructor Manual.

Q: What is the difference between the structured debriefing portion of the PALS Course and the Structured and Supported Debriefing online course?
A: The structured debriefing portion of the PALS Course does not teach the student how to debrief; it is simply a tool that can  be used during a debriefing.

Q: Are continuing education (CE/CME/CEH) credits offered for the PALS class-based course?
A: The AHA is currently in the process of completing requirements to be able to provide CECBEMS CEH for
class-based PALS Provider Courses. We will announce this when available.

Because the continuing education approval process for nurses and physicians is much more involved,
credit for these professions will not be available through the AHA at this time.

Course Materials
Q: What new materials are available for the PALS Course?
A: Materials for the class course, updated to reflect the 2015 AHA Guidelines for CPR & ECC, include:

Student/Provider Materials
· 90-1052 PALS Provider Manual, includes PALS Pocket Reference Card (90-1053)
· 90-1053 PALS Pocket Reference Card