Brief Guide: Basic Life Support Healthcare Training

One of the most important things a person providing first aid to a cardiac arrest victim should learn is the chain of survival. Whether you undergo training and get CPR certified online or you attend a physical class, this is a procedure that has to be followed to save a life.

You may find that at some point in the process to get CPR certified you need to practice the procedures for real, especially CPR or even handling and using an AED. The links in this chain are not only important for healthcare providers since anyone present when a cardiac arrest occurs will be expected to play a part within that chain.

Based on statistics on survival after cardiac arrest, the people who have survived were helped by bystanders who were not necessarily healthcare providers.

What is the Chain of Survival?

The chain of survival is a series of actions that need to be taken in quick succession to ensure the survival of a patient in cardiac arrest. Some of the steps are basic actions such as being able to quickly diagnose the situation and then calling for help. These are simple actions that can be taken by anyone who is around.

Why it is Important to Know the Chain of Survival?

Statistics show that the greatest number of cardiac arrests occur outside a medical facility where there is no trained medical personnel to help the victim. In America alone, over 300,000 cases are reported outside a health facility and most of them result in death because the right first aid was not given.

It is therefore important that more people are able to administer first aid. BLS for healthcare providers online would go a long way in making this life-saving training accessible to a broader population.

The chain of survival was created based on the knowledge that following a cardiac arrest, the brain begins to die after six minutes.

The Links

Each of the steps in the chain of survival links with the next one and that is why we refer to is as a link. When they are followed in quick succession, the chances of survival are a lot higher. Let us take a look at these.

Identify Cardiac Arrest

Since cardiac arrest can happen anytime and in most cases, it happens in the home, it is important that the person nearby is able to recognize that a victim is actually having a cardiac arrest. This is the first and most important step in the chain since it will trigger the rest of the actions that will save a person’s life. The main symptoms before a person loses consciousness will include:

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– Shortness of breath

– Dizziness

– Chest pain

– Irregular heartbeat

– Tiredness

– Loss of consciousness

It may be hard in some instances to identify the other symptoms since the victim may lose consciousness without letting anyone know they have experienced any of the symptoms, therefore an unconscious person should be treated as a possible cardiac arrest victim.

Call for Help

The next link once you notice the person is unconscious and has no heartbeat, you need to call the emergency service and give them directions and let them know what has happened. This is important because the survival of that person depends on the professional care they will receive from the paramedics. It will help if there is another person present to call the emergency service while you perform the next step in the link.

Perform CPR

CPR needs to be started as soon as possible and at best within 5 minutes from the time the person goes into cardiac arrest. The chest compression will keep the blood flowing to the brain to prevent it from dying off and blowing air into the lungs keeps a supply of oxygen since they cannot breathe on their own. The person performing CPR must know exactly what to do and how to do it.


The performance of rapid defibrillation has saved the lives of most cardiac arrest patients. It is important that an AED is present nearby or that the emergency team arrives in time to perform defibrillation. The AED monitors heart rate and applies shock to the heart to enable it to restart.

Advanced Emergency Care

When the emergency team arrives, they will know the right care to provide for the patient as they transport them to the hospital. Even when they get to the hospital, the monitoring and specialized care that the victim receives will determine how well they will recover and eventually they will be discharged.

Once again it is important to remember that the entire success of the chain depends on the ability to get the first step right. Quick action and correct diagnosis will ensure that the patient will survive.