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Chain of survival

The links in the "chain that saves life" symbolize the series of actions that each must take if a person suffers an unexpected cardiac arrest. The possibility of survival is primarily affected by how quickly the various measures can be put into action. If any part is delayed, the chance of survival decreases.

1. Early alarm, to prevent cardiac arrest. This means both an alarm to 112 and that you call for help in your immediate vicinity. This could be, for example, calling for help from neighbors or passers-by.

2. Early CPR, to buy time. With cardiopulmonary resuscitation you gain time. Oxygen is supplied to the body, pumped around and thus protects the brain and other organs from damage.

3. Early defibrillation, to start the heart. CPR alone usually does not start the heart. For this, a defibrillator is needed, which delivers an electric shock that restarts the heart. In medical terms, this is called defibrillation. If these first three links in the Chain that save lives are started within 2 minutes, the person's chance of survival increases by up to 70%. Quick help is essential.

4. Post resuscitation care, to restore quality of life. Early medical treatment, to stabilize. This takes place with the help of the ambulance staff, on site or during transport to the hospital. And early care after cardiac arrest - this takes place in a hospital, often in an intensive care unit, and involves, among other things, cooling to reduce the risk of permanent brain damage and coronary x-rays and balloon dilation to ensure circulation to the heart muscle.

Text updated 2022-09-16
Source: Swedish CPR council

If all links in this vital chain work quickly and efficiently, the chance of survival increases significantly. If any of the links are instead delayed, both the survival and the recovery of the person who has suffered a sudden cardiac arrest are jeopardized.


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