The chain of survival

The above diagram illustrates the importance early recognition of a patient in cardiac arrest and calling for help immediately. Ideally early recognition and appropriate interventions may prevent the 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 to restore quality of life.