Chain of Survival

Throughout the U.K., more than 30,000 people suffer a cardiac arrest Out-of-Hospital each year. In Northern Ireland, this number is approximately 1,400 cases, with a current survival rate of less than 1 in 10.

With this said, there are a few key steps that can help to improve the chances of survival following a cardiac arrest. This is what we call:


Recognition & Intervention

Early recognition is vital because, due to the loss of blood flow, the brain can become damaged within minutes from oxygen starvation.

If the brain is starved of oxygen, an individual may make gasping breathes. This is called “Agonal Breathing”. Early intervention includes calling for help!

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Early CPR

Given early, effective CPR is vital to improving cardiac arrest survival.

In the UK, less than 50% of individuals have ‘bystander’ CPR training. This step includes assessing the ABCs: Airways, Breathing and Circulation.


Early Defibrillation

Although CPR allows some oxygen to get to the brain, having the individual’s own heart pumping it is more effective. This is why shocks are sometimes delivered.

Whilst defibrillators are carried by healthcare professionals (Ambulance etc.), AEDs (Automted External Defibrillators) are becoming increasingly more common.

These AEDs will talk you through the process of using one.

In an emergency, 999 will direct you to your nearest defibrillator. However, powered by The Circuit, Defib Finder UK provides up-to-date information on locations across the UK. Click HERE to find out more.


Post-Resus. Care

Onwards care is now provided by medical staff.

The previous three links in the chain happen over a relatively short period of time. Unlike these, this final phase can last considerably longer.

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Where We Come In

Together, we can make this chain stronger.

By being local, we usually travel short distances to reach patients, often arriving on scene before an ambulance. We are then responsible for providing initial assessment, treatment and reassurance until healthcare professionals arrive.

If appropriate, this could include delivering CPR and the use of an AED.