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The Chain of Survival concept is designed to show you your role in an emergency procedure. Following each link in the chain in the correct order can greatly increase the person's chances of survival.

Remember the links in the chain are:

Early access to or activation of the emergency services - Call the emergency services as soon as possible, if you find out the the patient is not breathing, make sure they are called straight away.

Early CPR - The second link isCPR, without effective Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation, it is probable that the next chains in the link are not going to work.

Early Defibrillation (AED) -  In many cases this may be where the first aider stops providing care unless they have access to an Automated External Defibrillator.  They are sometimes available at workplaces or in the community and a community first responder or paramedic may arrive with an AED. The AED interrupts the abnormal twitching of the heart and can reset the heart to beating normally again.

Early Advanced Care -  This is given by the emergency services, in addition to delivering an AED they will have drugs, oxygen and other equipment and are trained to provide care that is far beyond first aid.

Every link in the chain is vital, if the chain of survival is broken at any point, the patient's chance of survival is massively reduced. If you don't call the EMS quickly, this will delay the advanced care and possibly the AED,  if you don't provide CPR then the effectiveness of the AED and Advanced care are compromised.

For every minute of delay between the person going into cardiac arrest to the time when the AED arrives the chance of survival drops by 10%  making sure that the links remain intact and that an AED is available at the earliest possible moment improves the person's chance of survival.