The chain of survival is a training concept showing the actions linking the victim of sudden cardiac arrest with survival. The first aider is a vital part of this chain as the success of any attempt at resuscitation is greatly aided by the timely activation of each link.
Link 1 – Early Recognition
Early recognition of cardiac arrest and prompt activation of the ambulance service is an essential link in the chain as it will initiate the arrival of trained emergency personnel.
Link 2 – Early CPR
If cardiac arrest occurs, starting CPR as soon as possible can double the chances of the casualty’s survival.
Link 3 – Early Defibrillation
In most cases of cardiac arrest, the heart stops beating effectively because of an electrical disturbance called ventricular fibrillation (VF). The only effective therapy for VF is the delivery of an electric shock (defibrillation).
Link 4 – Early Advanced Life Support (ALS)
Appropriately trained personnel will use advanced techniques and medicines to increase the chances of successful resuscitation.