Chain of Survival

What Is the Chain of Survival™?

Heart & Stroke has adopted, supported, and helped develop the concept of emergency cardiovascular care (ECC) systems for many years. The term Chain of Survival provides a useful metaphor for the elements of the ECC systems-of-care concept.

The links in the Chain of Survival for an adult who has a cardiac arrest outside the hospital are:

  • First Link – Immediately recognize the emergency and activate the emergency response system (phone 9-1-1)
  • Second Link – Perform early CPR with an emphasis on chest compressions
  • Third Link – Use an AED immediately (as soon as it is available)
  • Fourth Link – Early access to emergency medical services and more advanced care
  • Fifth Link – Access to post-cardiac arrest care, as provided in an Emergency Department or Intensive Care Unit

Remember that seconds count when someone has a cardiac arrest. Wherever you are, take action. The adult Chain of Survival starts with you!