Chain of Survival


An Article by Worsley Training – First Aid Training in and around Wiltshire


The Chain of Survival is a series of steps which if performed quickly in the right order give the best chance of survival from a cardiac arrest (the heart stops beating) when not in a hospital.

If you start CPR within 2 minutes, place a defibrillator on their chest in 4 minutes and a paramedic arrives in 8 minutes, they have a 40% chance of survival.

  1. Early recognition & call for help – when a casualty is not breathing normally get someone to call 999 (or 112 if overseas). If there is a public defibrillator nearby send for that too
  2. Early CPR – can buy life-saving time by pumping oxygenated blood around their body until a defibrillator arrives.
  3. Early defibrillation – for every minute the patient doesn’t have a defibrillator attached to their chest, their chances of survival reduce by 10% (if no CPR is performed).
  4. Post-resuscitation care – is delivered by Paramedics and includes the administration of drugs, advanced airway procedures, and other interventions and protocols, prior to the arrival of the patient at an advanced care facility.

Like any chain, it is only as strong as its weakest link, so if one stage is poor the chances of successful resuscitation are compromised.


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