Through the Heart Safe Community program, communities can strengthen what the American Heart Association calls the "chain of survival."
STEP 1: Early Access to Emergency Care
Bystanders recognize the symptoms of cardiac arrest and call 911 immediately. EMS dispatchers are equipped with instructions for the caller and can get an Advanced Life Support response vehicle to the scene quickly.
STEP 2: Early CPR
CPR, when properly administered, buys precious minutes until a defibrillator is available. Public knowledge and awareness must be increased so that those trained in CPR will actually use it when necessary.
STEP 3: Early Defibrillation
Defibrillation is the delivery of electric shock to restore the heart’s normal rhythm. Early Defibrillation is considered to be the most critical link in the chain of survival. New AEDs are light-weight, sturdy, and easy to use by anyone who has been trained.
STEP 4: Early Advanced Care
Advanced care is delivered by an Advanced Life Support response vehicle staffed by advanced care providers. Medications and oxygen therapy delivered can be critical to the survival of cardiac arrest victims.
STEP 5: Post-Cardiac Arrest Care
Integrated, multidisciplinary care for patients following cardiac arrest both in the hospital and following discharge.