What Is the Chain of Survival?

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23 January 2019

Job & Career

Chain Survival

When it comes to administering first aid to people, it is always best to leave it to professionals.

However, there are certain instances when you simply cannot, or should not wait for them to arrive.

There are some studies which show just how important it can be to administer first aid to a person until professionals arrive.

First aid experts at Advanced Healthcare Education share with us what the chain of survival is and why it is so important, that it is taught in all health courses approved by the American Heart Association.

What Is the Chain of Survival?

In the simplest terms, the chain of survival is a string of important actions which need to be taken in order to maximize the likelihood of survival of a person who experienced a cardiac arrest or similar problem.

If you know what the links in this chain are, you are far more likely to be able to help someone, no matter if you have any medical experience or not.

Links of the Chain:

The first and perhaps most important step in the process of saving someone’s life is recognizing that there is an emergency and that action needs to be undertaken.

If this ever happens to you, you need to call 911 immediately. Even if the situation turns out to be less critical than you originally thought, it is always better to be safe than sorry.

If you are at a place which has an automated external defibrillator, have someone bring it to the person in distress.

CPR and Chest Compressions:

Once the emergency services have been alerted to the situation, the first link of the chain has been completed. However, this is not where your help ends. If you have any BLS training, you can actually administer CPR and chest compressions.

Even if you are not skilled in basic life support, the 911 operator can guide you through it and you can greatly improve the chances of a person’s survival until help arrives.

You should continue with CPR until professionals arrive.

Rapid Defibrillation:

If you have an automated external defibrillator (AED) at hand, it is another step you can take in order to help a person in distress.

The machine needs to be placed next to the person you are helping. There are clear visual and audio instructions on the device itself which will help you attach the machine to the patient.

The machine itself will inform you if the shock is required. If so, make sure nobody is touching the patient and administer the shock.

Some of these machines can actually help you administer proper CPR and chest compressions.

Basic and Advanced Care:

This fourth step in the chain refers to the trained medical professionals who should be able to provide not only the basic medical support you could but also more advanced treatment, such as administering medication.

Additionally, medical professionals are trained in advanced respiration procedures which can help provide oxygen to the patient even if they are unconscious and not breathing on their own.

However, in order for the medical professionals to respond to an emergency, the first link of the chain is crucial – someone needs to contact emergency services.

Advanced Life Support:

Finally, advanced life support is largely left to the professionals. If the situation with the patient is that critical, the patient needs to be taken to the hospital where a team of different medical professionals can take care of them.

Even though you can help someone without any medical training, you can be much more effective if you have simple BLS training. This course is relatively simple, but it instills some of the crucial points about saving lives, including the chain of survival.

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