Vasoactive Pharmacology for Pediatric Shock

Author(s): Jeffery Alvin

Contact Hours 1.10

CERP A 1.10

Expires Mar 31, 2026

Topics: Hemodynamics, Pharmacology

Level: Expert

Population: Pediatric

Role: APRN

Member: Free
NonMember: $10.00

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Activity Summary

Almost one-third of children presenting to the emergency department experience shock, with over half of the cases involving septic shock. Prompt recognition and management are essential to survival of this life-threatening condition, but recent changes in sepsis definitions for adult populations have raised questions and challenges for APRNs caring for these children. This session explores pharmacological management of pediatric shock with a significant emphasis on the vasoactive medications used in septic shock. We provide an in-depth review of the pathophysiological, pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic concepts for intravenous fluids and medications used in all shock states. Differences between adults and children are mentioned. By the end of this session, participants are able to confidently prescribe, initiate, monitor, titrate and discontinue vasoactive medications used in pediatric shock management. Pharmacology content = 80%.


  • Identify rationales and indications of vasoactive medications used to manage pediatric patients throughout the sepsis and shock continua.
  • Explain physiology, pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of at least five commonly used vasoactive medications for pediatric shock.
  • Describe at least two emerging trends in the pharmacological management of pediatric septic shock.

Continuing Education Disclosure Statement

Successful Completion

Learners must attend/view/read the entire activity and complete the associated evaluation to be awarded the contact hours or CERP. No partial credit will be awarded.


This activity has been reviewed by the Nurse Planner. It has been determined that the material presented here shows no bias. No conflicts of interest have been identified for any individual with the ability to influence the content of this activity. Accreditation refers to recognition of continuing education only and does not imply AACN or ANCC approval or endorsement of any commercial products discussed or displayed in conjunction with this educational activity.


The American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) is accredited as a provider of nursing continuing professional development by the American Nurses Credentialing Center's (ANCC's) Commission on Accreditation, ANCC Provider Number 0012. AACN has been approved as a provider of continuing education in nursing by the California State Board of Nursing (CBRN), California Provider number CEP 1036. This activity is approved for 1.10 contact hours.

AACN programming meets the standards for most states that require mandatory continuing education contact hours for license and/or certification renewal. AACN recommends consulting with your state board of nursing or credentialing organization before submitting CE to fulfill continuing education requirements.

Refund Policy

Continuing Education Activities are nonrefundable.