History of APLS


In the late 1970s, Martha Bushore-Fallis, MD was working with Jerry Foster, MD at the Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio to find other physicians who were providing emergency care to children, in an effort to establish dialogue, share concerns, and set some goals. From their efforts evolved the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Section on Emergency Medicine. And when Dr. Bushore-Fallis became the Chair of the Section, the pursuit of a course for physicians in this "new" field of pediatric emergency medicine became her mission-and her passion.

Armed with a concept, but no endorsement and no funding, not to mention a lack of accepted clinical guidelines for many critical conditions, Dr. Bushore-Fallis and several colleagues began working on a manual based on the courses they had been teaching for several years. When all of the chapters were finished, and with a bit of grant money, the books were printed and bound. She then presented them to the American Academy of Pediatrics' Committee on Hospital Care for its endorsement. Eventually, the course was approved by the AAP and American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP).

In 1983, pediatric life support education evolved into two groups. One group became the forerunner of the American Heart Association Subcommittee on Pediatric Resuscitation, focusing on pediatric resuscitation, and the development of the Pediatric Advanced Life Support Course (PALS). The other-"the rest of us, established as the critical condition recognition and stabilization group," according to Dr. Bushore-Fallis-was the forerunner of the Advanced Pediatric Life Support (APLS) Joint Task Force, now the APLS Steering Committee, responsible for the development of the APLS program.

The first APLS course was implemented in 1984. Five years and thousands of hours of development work later, the first edition of the APLS course student manual was published by the AAP and ACEP. Dr. Martha Bushore-Fallis, along with Gary Fleisher, MD, James Seidel, MD, and David Wagner, MD, were the editorial board for the original edition. The first edition was published in 1989, a second edition in 1993, a third edition in 1998, and a fourth edition in 2003, all guided by the APLS Joint Task Force, and all built on the foundation laid by Dr, Brushore-Fallis and her colleagues.