The Chain of Survival: A Lifesaver’s Guide

The chain of survival is a model for emergency care that outlines the steps required for someone who experiences cardiac arrest to have the best chance of survival. Being aware of the chain of survival can help you be prepared to assist someone in need or know the necessary steps after an emergency occurs.

Timeline of survival

In order to help you get a better understanding of the chain of survival, we'll go over each step in detail. The first step is to recognize that someone is experiencing sudden cardiac arrest. Once you've recognized that someone needs help and is not breathing normally, call 9-1-1. The second step involves performing CPR until emergency responders arrive on the scene and take over care for the victim (or in some cases, if they are trained, they may take over care at this point). Thirdly, if an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) is available nearby--which means most AEDs today--then use it immediately after calling 9-1-1; this machine uses electricity from batteries or power outlets to shock your heart back into beating normally again! Finally: After all these steps have been completed successfully with proper training and education about how best to apply them together as part of a team approach towards saving lives...then any further efforts made toward improving upon these four key elements within society's structure will only serve our cause better still."

The Chain of Survival

The leading authority on cardiovascular disease and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) has developed the Chain of Survival, consisting of four links:

  • Early recognition of cardiac arrest
  • Early CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) by bystanders or medical professionals who are trained in CPR, who can provide compressions to keep blood flowing through the body until more advanced treatment arrives.
  • Rapid access to EMS providers, who have access to an AED (automated external defibrillator) that delivers an electric shock directly into the heart muscle, restarting it if necessary. This will buy you time until you get to the hospital where doctors can perform other treatments such as surgery or drug therapy.

The 4 links in the chain of survival

The Chain of Survival is a lifesaver's guide to CPR. It's a four-step process that can help save lives in the event of sudden cardiac arrest (SCA). The chain includes:

  • Link 1: Early CPR - If someone collapses and you suspect SCA, immediately begin chest compressions at 100 beats per minute.
  • Link 2: Early AED Use - If there is an AED available, use it as soon as possible after noticing signs of SCA.
  • Link 3: Rapid Access to EMS Providers - Call 911 or other emergency services immediately so they can get help on their way quickly and provide support while you continue performing CPR until paramedics arrive at the scene.
  • Link 4: Receiving Optimal Medical Care - Once you have given care based on these three steps and/or paramedics have arrived with additional treatment options like defibrillation or advanced life support techniques such as endotracheal intubation (ETI) or intravenous drug administration (IV), it's important not just for survival but also recovery so that those who suffer SCA have better outcomes down the road when compared against those who don't receive immediate care after going into cardiac arrest

Link 1 - Early CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation)

CPR is the most important link in the chain of survival. If you see someone who's not breathing or has no pulse, give them CPR immediately.

CPR can help keep blood flowing to the brain and other vital organs until EMS providers arrive on the scene with advanced life support (ALS) equipment like an automated external defibrillator (AED). An AED can provide life-saving electric shocks to restart a heart that has stopped beating.

The guidelines for CPR that everyone should know:

  • Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) should only be given when a person is unresponsive; call 911 first if possible before starting chest compressions or mouth-to-mouth resuscitation if necessary; if an AED is available then apply its pads to both sides of the victim's chest while continuing chest compressions at a rate of 100 per minute until EMS arrives; don't stop providing CPR unless instructed by emergency medical personnel

Link 2 - Early AED use (automated external defibrillator)

AEDs are portable devices that can be used to treat a person who has gone into cardiac arrest. They're easy to use and can help save lives. AEDs are often located in public places, such as schools, airports, and shopping malls.

Link 3 - Rapid access to EMS (Emergency Medical Services) providers

The third link in the Chain of Survival is rapid access to EMS (Emergency Medical Services) providers.

  • Call 911 immediately when someone has stopped breathing or their heart has stopped beating. Do not let them die waiting for help!
  • Do not leave the person alone until help arrives; stay with them and reassure them that everything will be okay, even if it doesn't feel like it at the moment. If you need someone else there with you, have a friend or family member drive you both to the hospital so they can call ahead and let them know what's happened; keep that operator on the line until help arrives as well!

Link 4 - Receiving optimal medical care at a hospital

The fourth link in the Chain of Survival is receiving optimal medical care at a hospital. In order to be effective, this link must be completed as quickly as possible after an emergency occurs. The longer it takes for someone to receive treatment, the worse their chances are of surviving and recovering from their illness or injury.

To ensure you get the right treatment at the right time:

  • Be aware of your surroundings so that when something happens, you can call 911 immediately (or whatever number is appropriate where you live).
  • Make sure that if you're having trouble breathing or feeling faint/dizzy/weak etc., someone else knows how serious it is--and they call 911 immediately!
  • If possible, go directly to an emergency room rather than calling first or going home first; this will help ensure better results overall since many conditions require immediate attention in order not only to save lives but also to prevent further complications that might arise later down the line if left untreated!

By being aware of the chain of survival, you can be prepared to help someone in need.

The Chain of Survival is a lifesaving tool that can help you be prepared to save lives. The chain includes:

  • Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) - CPR helps someone who is not breathing or only gasping for air. It also keeps blood circulating until medical help arrives.
  • Early Defibrillation - Defibrillators have been shown to reduce death rates from sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) by 50 percent when used within three minutes after SCA onset.
  • Emergency Medical Services (EMS) - EMS provides advanced life support, including defibrillation and other advanced treatments, as needed during transport to an emergency department
  • * Hospital - A hospital's staff will provide additional care if needed after initial treatment at an emergency department.


As a lifesaver, it's important to understand the chain of survival and how you can help. If you see someone who needs CPR, don't hesitate! The first step is to call 911. Then follow these steps:


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