HeartCode® PALS Part 1
This course from the American Heart Association has been updated to reflect new science based on the 2010 AHA Guidelines for CPR and ECC.
HeartCode® PALS Part 1 is a web-based, self-directed program that teaches healthcare providers knowledge and skills needed to recognize and prevent cardiopulmonary arrest in infants and children. Using eSimulation technology, students assess and treat patients in virtual healthcare settings where they can apply their knowledge to real-time decision-making and skills development. Debriefings and coaching are provided immediately after each simulation to facilitate learning about pediatric advanced life support.
- 12 pediatric, hospital-based, patient cases with up to four healthcare providers, presented through eSimulation technology
- Systematic approach to pediatric assessment
- Recognition and management of respiratory and shock emergencies
- Recognition and management of respiratory and cardiac arrest
- Immediate post-cardiac arrest care
- Effective communication as a member and leader of a resuscitation team
Students will receive an AHA PALS course completion card, valid for two years, upon successful completion of all three parts.
For healthcare providers needing basic pediatric rhythm recognition skills, telemetry staff, neonatal and pediatric ICU personnel, ambulatory care personnel and those preparing for PALS.
This course has been tested on Windows XP and Mac OSX, with Internet Explorer 8+ or Firefox 2+. Please do not use the Internet Explorer 10 browser with this course. HeartCode programs are not supported by Apple Safari.
Please refer to our Technical Requirements for accessing this course.
After completing HeartCode PALS Part 1, students must successfully complete a skills session consisting of hands-on skills practice and testing (parts 2 and 3) with an AHA PALS Instructor. Contact your local training center to sign up for a skills session.
2012 HeartCode® PALS Part 1 (Product #90-1420)
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
As of July 17, 2012
Q: What is HeartCode PALS Part 1?
A: The AHA’s HeartCode PALS Part 1 has been updated to reflect new science in the 2010 AHA Guidelines for CPR and ECC.
This Web-based, self-directed program teaches healthcare providers knowledge and skills needed to recognize and prevent cardiopulmonary arrest in infants and children. Using eSimulation technology, students assess and treat patients in virtual healthcare settings. In this environment, students apply their knowledge to real-time decision-making and skills development. Debriefings and coaching are provided immediately after each simulation to facilitate learning about pediatric advanced life support.
After completing Part 1, students practice and test their skills with an AHA PALS Instructor. Upon successful completion of all parts of the course, students receive a PALS course completion card.
Q: What content is taught in HeartCode PALS Part 1?
A: Content covered in this program includes:
- Key changes in pediatric advanced life support from the 2010 AHA Guidelines for CPR and ECC
- Child 1-and 2-rescuer CPR and AED use
- Infant 1-and 2-rescuer 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 2010 Guidelines version of HeartCode PALS Part 1 as compared to the 2005 Guidelines version?
A: HeartCode PALS Part 1 is updated to reflect the 2010 AHA Guidelines for CPR and ECC. Key changes include:
- Part 1 now online (as opposed to CD)
- Format similar to that of HeartCode ACLS Part 1
- Features new PALS Systematic Approach
Key science changes:
- Post ROSC, titrate oxygen to >/=94% but <100% to limit risk of hyperoxemia
- Defibrillate with an initial dose of 2-4J/kg, subsequent shocks at least 4J/kg but not to exceed 10J/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 in patients who remain comatose after resuscitation from cardiac arrest
- Continuous monitoring of exhaled CO2 may help determine the effectiveness of chest compressions during CPR; in intubated patients, it is recommended as confirmation of endotracheal tube position
Q: Who is the target audience for this program?
A: HeartCode PALS Part 1 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 and are seeking an alternative (nonclassroom) method of completion. This program is a good option for those who prefer self-directed learning. It also may be easier for those with previous PALS knowledge and clinical skills, versus those taking a PALS course for the first time.
Q: What is the format of this program?
A: Using eSimulation technology, HeartCode PALS Part 1 presents 12 pediatric patient cases with up to four healthcare providers, including four respiratory cases (upper airway obstruction, lower airway obstruction, lung tissues disease and disordered control of breathing), four shock cases (hypovolemic, distributive, obstructive and cardiogenic) and four cardiac cases (narrow complex tachycardia, bradycardia, PEA/asystole and VF/VT). Students assess and treat these pediatric patients virtually and receive real-time debriefing and coaching.
To receive a PALS course completion cared using this program, students must complete three parts:
- HeartCode PALS Part 1. Upon successful completion of the online portion, including the written exam, students receive a Part 1 certificate of completion, which must be presented for parts 2 and 3
- Part 2*, a hands-on skills practice session with an AHA PALS Instructor
- Part 3*, a skills test with an AHA PALS Instructor
* Parts 2 and 3 should be completed in one “skills practice and testing” session.
Q: What are some of the features of HeartCode PALS Part 1?
A: Course features include:
- Self-paced and accessible 24 hours a day
- 12 interactive, pediatric, hospital-based scenarios, using eSimulation technology
- Precourse Self-Assessment to gauge students’ knowledge and application of ECG recognition and pharmacology
- Debriefings and coaching provided immediately after each simulation, with hyperlinks to the referenced section of the PALS Provider Manual
- Emphasis on effective code team leader skills
- Multiple choice, 33-question exam to test cognitive knowledge; program immediately identifies incorrect answers and provides a hyperlink to the appropriate section of the PALS Provider Manual for instant remediation
- Certificate of completion available to print when Part 1 has been completed successfully
- Online access to the PALS Provider Manual, the 2010 AHA Guidelines for CPR and ECC and the 2010 Handbook of Emergency Cardiovascular Care for Healthcare Providers
- Provides access to all information in course for 24 months (two years) following activation of course key
- Provides up to 11 hours continuing education credit
Q: Approximately how long does the HeartCode PALS Part 1 take to complete?
A: Part 1 can be completed in approximately 6-9 hours depending on the level of knowledge and clinical experience of the student. Unprepared or inexperienced students may require additional time. For example, those updating would probably complete in less time than first-time students.
Time to complete a skill practice and testing session (Parts 2 and 3) varies based on the level of expertise of the students and the instructors. Provided the students come prepared and the Instructor is experienced, six students with one instructor could probably accomplish the skills in 3-4 hours.
Q: Is there a test score that must be achieved by students in order to successfully complete HeartCode PALS Part 1?
A: Yes, students must score at least 84% on the online written test, which is consistent with all of AHA’s healthcare courses.
Q: Is a skills session required?
A: Yes. To earn an AHA PALS course completion card, students must successfully complete a PALS skills practice and testing session (Parts 2 and 3 of the course) with an AHA PALS Instructor. Students must bring their Part 1 Certificate of Completion to the skills session.
Q: After completion of HeartCode PALS Part 1, how long do students have to complete the skills practice and testing session?
A: Students are allowed up to 60 days after the completion of the online part of the course to complete the skills session.
Q: What skills are tested during the skills testing session?
A: During skills testing, students must successfully demonstrate competency performing the following skills:
- 1- and 2-rescuer Child BLS with AED
- 1- and 2-rescuer Infant BLS
- Management of respiratory emergencies
- IO access
- Must perform as team leader for one cardiac core case testing scenario and one respiratory or shock core case testing scenario
Q: Are there prerequisites for taking HeartCode PALS Part 1?
A: No. However, students are expected to 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.
Q: Is the Precourse Self-Assessment required?
A: Completion of the Precourse Self-Assessment prior to beginning HeartCode PALS Part 1 is highly recommended to help students identify knowledge gaps; however, it is not required.
Q: Is HeartCode PALS Part 1 only for updates or can it be used for initial PALS course completion as well?
A: This program is approved for both update and initial PALS courses; however first-time PALS students may struggle with the online version.
Q: Can students log in and out of the course?
A: Yes. Students can log in and out as many times as they choose. To log out, students will click the "Click here to logout" link located at the top of the page after login. When the student is ready to continue training, he/she can return toOnlineAHA.organd login with his/her registered email and password.
Q: Can course material be accessed after the online portion is completed?
A: Yes, students may access all material included in the HeartCode PALS Part 1 program for 24 months (two years) following activation of their key.
Q: Does successful completion of HeartCode PALS Part 1 result in receipt of an AHA course completion card?
A: Upon successful completion of all three parts (online course and skills practice and testing session), students will receive an AHA PALS course completion card, issued by their Instructor’s Training Center. This card is valid for two years.
Q: Are continuing education (CE/CME) credits offered for HeartCode PALS Part 1?
A: Yes. Students who successfully complete the program may claim the following continuing education credits:
Continuing Medical Education Accreditation – Physicians
The American Heart Association designates this enduring material for a maximum of 10.25 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.
Continuing Education Accreditation – Nurses
The American Heart Association is accredited as a provider of continuing nursing education by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation. The maximum number of hours awarded for this CE activity is 10.00 contact hours.
Continuing Education Accreditation – Emergency Medical Services
This continuing education activity is approved by the American Heart Association, an organization accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Pre-Hospital Continuing Education (CAPCE), for 11.00 Advanced CEHs, activity number 12-AMHAF3-0155.
Information for PALS Instructors
Q: Who can conduct skills practice and testing sessions for HeartCode PALS Part 1?
A: Parts 2 and 3 (the skills practice and testing session) may be conducted by authorized AHA PALS Instructors.
Q: How can PALS Instructors verify the authenticity of Part 1 Certificates of Completion for HeartCode PALS Part 1?
A: Instructors can verify certificates at OnlineAHA.org under the “Skills Session” tab on the home page, or through the AHA Instructor Network in the Courses section, under HeartCode PALS Part 1, under the Course Resources tab.
Q: What materials do PALS Instructors need to conduct the skills practice and testing session for HeartCode PALS Part 1?
A: Information for PALS Instructors conducting a skills practice and testing session for HeartCode PALS Part 1 can be found in the document, “Training Memo: Skills Practice and Testing for HeartCode PALS.” This document is posted on theAHA Instructor Networkunder Courses > HeartCode PALS Part 1, under the Training Memos & Bulletins tab.
Purchasing Course/Finding Skills Sessions:
Q: Where/how can I purchase HeartCode PALS Part 1?
A: HeartCode PALS Part 1 (Product #90-1420) can be purchased through OnlineAHA.org or from any of AHA’s three product Distributors (Channing Bete, Laerdal, and World Point).
Q: How should students or employers schedule a skills practice and testing session with an AHA ACLS Instructor?
A: To find a PALS Skills Session, students can use the AHA’s Find A Course tool at www.heart.org/cpr.
If an employer provides course keys to employees, the employer should provide those employees with information about skills sessions. Regular sessions may be scheduled by Training Centers to provide skills practice and testing for the students they provide keys for and to accommodate the single user who has purchased a key online. Training Centers may charge a fee for conducting sessions and issuing cards. To find a local Training Center, please use the Find A Course tool at www.heart.org/cpr.
Q: Will HeartCode PALS Part 1 be translated? Into what languages will it be translated? When will translated editions be available?
A: At this time, no translations are planned.
Q: Who should be contacted if there are technical problems with HeartCode PALS Part 1?
A: Customers should contact technical support at OnlineAHA.org by phone at 1-888-AHA-8883 or email at email@example.com. Telephone support hours are Monday through Friday, from 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., Central Time.
Q: Does the program require special computer or support software?
A: The minimum and recommended computer requirements are listed in the table below. You can click on Browser Check to make sure your browser is compatible. In addition, student and administrator hardware should be the recommended requirements.
PLEASE NOTE: HeartCode programs are not supported by Apple Safari.
PC Users: Minimum:
- Windows XP sp3
- 2 GHz Pentium 4 or equivalent
- 768 Mb Ram
- Adobe Flash Player 10.1.82.76
- 512 Kbit/s Bandwidth
- 1024*768 screen resolution
- Internet Explorer 7+ or FF 3+
- Windows XP sp3 or higher (not the 64-bit version of XP)
- 2.4 Ghz or higher
- 1 Gb or higher
- Adobe Flash Player 10.1.82.76 or higher
- 1 Mbit/s or higher
- 1024*768 screen resolution or higher
- Internet Explorer 7+ or FF 3+
Mac Users: will not run on Safari, must use Firefox
- OS: OS X 10.6 ”Snow Leopard”
- Ram: 2GB
- CPU: Intel Core 2 duo, 2,4 GHz
- Browser: FireFox 3,6 +
- Flash: 10.1.82.76
Q: Is there a demo available for this course?
A: Yes. A demo for HeartCode PALS Part 1 will be available on OnlineAHA.org.
The CME/CE hours listed are specific to the United States. Please consult your local accrediting agencies to apply for CME/CE internationally.
HeartCode® Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS) Part 1 Enduring Web Course
ORIGINAL RELEASE DATE: March 2009
TERMINATION DATE: July 16, 2018
LAST REVIEW DATE: May 2015
HeartCode® PALS Part 1 is a 6-9 hour web-based, self-directed program that teaches healthcare providers knowledge and skills needed to recognize and prevent cardiopulmonary arrest in infants and children. Using eSimulation technology, students assess and treat patients in virtual healthcare settings where they can apply their knowledge to real-time decision-making and skills development. Debriefings and coaching are provided immediately after each simulation to facilitate learning about pediatric advanced life support.
After participating in this activity, participants will be able to:
- Describe the timely recognition and interventions required to prevent respiratory and cardiac arrest in any pediatric patient
- Describe the systematic approach to pediatric assessment by using the initial impression, primary and secondary assessments, and diagnostic tests
- Describe priorities and specific interventions for infants and children with respiratory and/or circulatory emergencies
- Explain the importance of effective team dynamics, including individual roles and responsibilities, during a pediatric resuscitation
- Describe the key elements of postresuscitation management
- Perform effective, high-quality cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) when appropriate
- Perform effective respiratory management within your scope of practice
- Select and apply appropriate cardiorespiratory monitoring
- Select and administer the appropriate medications and electrical therapies when presented with an arrhythmia scenario
- Establish rapid vascular access to administer fluid and medications
- Demonstrate effective communication and team dynamics both as a team member and as a team leader
- Physician Assistants
- Nurse Practitioners
- Paramedics/Advanced EMTs
- ACCME/AMA (Physicians) – July 17, 2015 – July 16, 2018
- ANCC (Nurses) – July 17, 2015 – July 16, 2018
- CAPCE (EMS Practitioners) – July 17, 2015 – July 16, 2018
Continuing Medical Education Accreditation – Physicians
The American Heart Association is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The American Heart Association designates this enduring material for a maximum of 10.25 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.
All persons who develop and/or control educational content in CME/CE activities sponsored by the American Heart Association will disclose to the audience all financial relationships with any commercial supporters of this activity as well as with other commercial interests whose lines of business are related to the CME/CE-certified content of this activity. In addition, presenters will disclose unlabeled/unapproved uses of drugs or devices discussed in their presentations. Such disclosures will be made in writing in course presentation materials.
Continuing Medical Education Accreditation – Physician Assistants
AAPA accepts certificates of participation for educational activities certified for AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™ from organizations accredited by ACCME or a recognized state medical society. Physician assistants may receive a maximum of 10.25 hours of Category I credit for completing this program.
Continuing Education Accreditation – Nurses
The American Heart Association is accredited as a provider of continuing nursing education by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation.
The maximum number of hours awarded for this CE activity is 10.00 contact hours.
Accredited status does not imply endorsement by the American Heart Association or the American Nurses Credentialing Center of any commercial products displayed in conjunction with an activity.
**ACCME and ANCC credit must be claimed within six months of attendance. Credit will not be available to claim after 6 months of attending the activity.
Continuing Education Accreditation – Emergency Medical Services
This continuing education activity is approved by the American Heart Association, an organization accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Pre-Hospital Continuing Education (CAPCE), for 11.00 Advanced CEHs, activity number 15-AMHA-F3-0269.
By claiming CAPCE credit, the claimant acknowledges the following: I understand that the American Heart Association, as a requirement of CAPCE accreditation, will submit a record of my course completions to the CAPCE AMS. I further understand that my course completion records maybe be accessed by or shared with such regulators as state EMS offices, training officers, and NREMT on a password-protected, need-to-know basis. In addition, I understand that I may review my record of CAPCE-accredited course completions by contacting CAPCE.
**CAPCE credit much be claimed within 6 months of attendance. CME/CE credit will no longer be available to claim for this activity after six months of attending.
Disclosures for HeartCode® Pediatric Advanced Life Support Part 1:
- Instructions for Independent Study
Successful completion of this CE activity includes the following:
- Complete the online program, including the team dynamics lesson and passing the 12 core cases.
- Complete the online course test with a score of 84% or higher.
- Complete the Course Evaluation form.
- Print the Certificate/Statement of Credit.
- There is no additional fee for CME/CE credits for this activity.
As a sponsor accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME), American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA), American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation (ANCC), and the Commission on Accreditation for Pre-Hospital Continuing Education (CAPCE), the American Heart Association must ensure fair balance, independence, objectivity, and scientific rigor in all of its individually sponsored or joint sponsored educational activities.
Therefore, all faculty and authors participating in continuing education activities sponsored by the American Heart Association must disclose to the audience: (1) any significant financial relationships with the manufacturer(s) of products from the commercial supporter(s) and/or the manufacturer(s) of products or devices discussed in the activity, and (2) unlabeled/unapproved uses of drugs or
devices discussed in the activity. The intent of this disclosure is not to prevent an author with a significant financial or other relationship from contributing but rather to provide participants with information with which they can make their own judgments. It remains for the participants to determine whether the author’s interests or relationships may influence the content.
I. The following authors/faculty have declared NO financial interest(s) or affiliations:
Ricardo Samson, MD
Mary Fran Hazinski, RN, MSN
Steve Schexnayder, MD
Allan DeCaen, MD
Adam Cheng, MD
Melinda Fiedor-Hamilton, MD
Mary Ann McNeil, NREMT-P
Reylon Meeks, RN
Kelly Kadlec, MD
Jennifer Ashcraft, RN, BSN, EMT
Shannon Armstrong, NREMT-P
Sallie Young, PharmD
Jose Ferrer, MD
Unlabeled/unapproved uses of drugs or devices included in this activity:
The majority of resuscitation drugs used in this course are classified as “pediatric orphan drugs,” meaning there are insufficient pediatric data to give FDA-approved endorsement for their use in children, and these uses are therefore considered “off-label.” This includes, but is not limited to, procainamide, etomidate, vasopressin, amiodarone, and the procedures of ECMO and therapeutic hypothermia.
Note on Medication Doses
Emergency cardiovascular care is a dynamic science. Advances in treatment and drug therapies occur rapidly. Readers are advised to check for changes in recommended dose, indications, and contraindications in the following sources: future editions of the AHA Handbook of Emergency Cardiovascular Care for Healthcare Providers and AHA training materials, as well as the package insert product information sheet for each drug.
Clinical condition and pharmacokinetics may require drug dose or interval dosing adjustments. Specific parameters (for example, creatinine clearance or QT interval) may require monitoring. Some medications mentioned in this activity may not be available in all countries, and may not be specifically approved by regulatory agencies in some countries for a particular indication.
Students with Special Needs:
The American Heart Association does not provide advice o Training Centers on ADA requirements or any other laws, rules or regulations. Training Centers must determine accommodations necessary to comply with applicable laws. AHA recommends consultation with legal counsel.
Core curriculum change requests for accessibility purposes must be scientifically based and approved in advance in writing by the AHA ECC Science & Product Development department; otherwise a student must be able to successfully perform all course requirements (skills and written tests as indicated) to receive a course completion card. Reasonable accommodations may be made, such as placing the manikin on a table at the height necessary for wheelchair-bound individuals. However the skills must be satisfactorily completed during the testing sessions.
Guidelines for accommodating students with special needs or disabilities may be found in the
Program Administration Manual.