The chain of survival

The above diagram illustrates the importance early recognition of a patient in cardiac arrest and calling for help immediately. Early recognition and appropriate interventions for a peri-arrest player may also prevent a cardiac arrest occurring.

Once a cardiac arrest is identified CPR should be delivered immediately in an attempt to achieve cardiac perfusion and buy time until more advanced care can be delivered. This may be in the form of a defibrillator to restart the heart if the patient has arrested with a shockable rhythm.

Once a cardiac output is returned, it is essential the patient is transferred to a facility that is able to provide high quality, post-resuscitation care with the aim of restoring quality of life.