The Chain of Survival in first aid

What is a Chain of Survival in first aid?

The Chain of Survival refers to a series of steps to follow when faced with a victim who is suffering from a health emergency situation, such as a heart attack or cardiorespiratory arrest. The application of this series of actions is also called Basic Life Support .

The correct performance of these steps will increase the chances of survival of the victim and that the damages and consequences that it may cause decrease.

The importance of the Chain of Survival 

In our daily life, whether in the work or family environment, we can witness emergency situations in which we must act immediately in order to guarantee the survival of the affected person.

We tend to think that only those people who suffer from cardiovascular diseases can be affected and, this is not the case, these episodes can appear suddenly without any prognosis prior to their appearance since they are considered non-traumatic pathologies.

For this reason, it is vital to be able to recognize a respiratory system in time , to know how to activate health aid by notifying the emergency services and, until they arrive, to know how to actually do CPR maneuvers correctly in order to help the victim. All of this can make us links in the chain of survival and, if one of these is broken or not executed correctly, the probability of survival of the victim decreases considerably.


How to carry out the Chain of Survival

The way to proceed when carrying out this Chain of Life must respect a due order to be able to provide a correct application of the techniques and a safe emergency aid to the affected person.

Recognition and demand for help

We suspect that a victim suffers a heart attack or cardiac infarction when he has a strong pain in the center of the chest, radiating to the arms or other parts of the body, is dizzy and sweats profusely. In this case or if we find a victim who does not breathe; We will immediately activate the emergency services by calling 112. We will suspect cardiorespiratory arrest in all patients who seizure.

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR)

In the event of a cardiorespiratory arrest, we will immediately start Basic Life Support (BLS) maneuvers, performing quality chest compressions and rescue insufflations.


In most cardiorespiratory arrests, the most effective treatment for the patient is the performance of an electric shock (defibrillation) with an AED. This will allow the heart to function normally again.

For every minute it takes us to carry out the electric shock, the chances of survival decrease by approximately 10%. Performing defibrillation within 3-5 minutes after arrest can achieve a survival rate of up to 50-70%.

Post resuscitation care

After the completion of a successful BLS, the presence of medical personnel is necessary to perform advanced cures to restore the patient’s quality of life.

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