Cardiac Chain of Survival

The “cardiac chain of survival” – is generally the steps that will determine if you’ll survive a cardiac arrest. There are three slightly different “Chains of Survival” for adults and a fourth for children.

They mostlly contain these steps:  1)  Early access to the Emergency Response System,   2)  early CPR,   3)  early defibrillation, and   4)  early advanced medical care.

The common word in each step is Early – you could also use the word quick.  That means someone recognize quickly what’s going on and calling 9-1-1,  and then a bystander quickly performing quality chest compressions (or full CPR on kids),  and someone quickly using a (nearby) AED to shock the victim’s heart (preferably before the paramedics arrive with an AED).

The advanced medical care in our community/city/county/state/country s great!,   The system just has one huge drawback – they are usually located 5 1/2 to 8 1/2  minutes away from the victim.  In a cardiac arrest when 4-5 minutes might mean life or death, we really need more bystanders trained in CPR and willing to at least do chest compressions,  and we need more AEDs in our communities.

The first 3 steps is where we are failing as a country with our lousy 8% survival rate (for out-of-hospital cardiac arrests).

Chain of Survival


Learn CPR – Save a Life !