Cardiac Chain of Survival

The cardiac chain of survival, is a common term in emergency medicine, safety, and health education circles – a term that is comprised of the steps that will determine if someone will survive a cardiac arrest, also the steps to improve your liklihood of survival.

Those steps are:  Early access to the Emergency Response System,  early CPR,  early defibrillation,  and early advanced medical care.

The common word in each step is early – also called Quick.  That generally means someone needs to recognize quickly what’s going on and call 9-1-1, or prompt someone to call 9-1-1,  and a bystander quickly performing quality chest compressions (or full CPR on an infant or child),  and quickly using a nearby AED to shock the heart to a normal rhythm (preferably before the paramedics arrive with an AED).   The advanced medical care in the U.S. is great, but it’s the 1st three steps we’re failing as a country with our pitiful 5-8% survival rate for out-of-hospital cardiac arrests.

OK, I’ll plug Seattle and King County, WA, known for years as the pioneers of CPR training, AED deployment, school training and community leaders focusing on CPR and resuscitation – and their 56% survival rate – proof that better outcomes are possible, we just need more training, more AEDs and more attention to saving lives.

Chain of Survival



Learn CPR – Save a Life !