What is the Chain of Survival and why is it Important?
The American Heart Association's Chain of Survival depicts the most critical steps in treating adults and children who have cardiac arrest outside of a hospital. The first three links of the chain will be your responsibility as a first aider. Advanced care is supplied by professional emergency responders and hospital providers who will take over treatment in the fourth, fifth and sixth links.
1. Adult Chain of Survival
- Recognition of cardiac arrest and activation of the emergency response system
- Early cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) with an emphasis on chest compressions.
- Rapid defibrillation.
- Advanced resuscitation by Emergency Medical Services and other healthcare providers
- Post-cardiac arrest care.
- Recovery (including additional treatment, observation, rehabilitation, and psychological support)
When someone has a cardiac arrest, remember that every second counts. Take action wherever you are. You are the first link in the adult chain of survival!
2. Pediatric Chain of Survival
- Prevention. The first step in saving a child's life is to prevent injury and sudden cardiac arrest.
- Activation of Emergency Medical Response as soon as possible so that the child can have emergency care, quickly improves the outcome.
- High-Quality CPR (emphasis on chest compressions).
- Advanced Resuscitation Emergency Medical Services and other healthcare providers.
- Post-Cardiac Arrest Care.
- Recovery (including additional treatment, observation, rehabilitation, and psychological support).
Children's hearts are normally healthy. Breathing problems (asphyxia) are often the reason why children need CPR. Preventing cardiac arrest is one of the most critical things you can do in the pediatric chain of survival. This involves protecting children from drowning, choking, and other respiratory problems.