ADMINISTER CARDIOPULMONARY RESUSCITATION AND AUTOMATED
EXTERNAL DEFIBRILLATION ON AN UNCONSCIOUS CASUALTY WITH
SUSPECTED CARDIAC ARREST
INDICATIONS FOR EARLY DEFIBRILLATION
Very few patients who experience sudden cardiac arrest outside of a hospital
survive unless a rapid sequence of events takes place. The chain of survival (figure
8-1) is a way of describing the ideal sequence of events that can take place when such
an arrest occurs.
Figure 8-1. Cardiopulmonary resuscitation chain of survival.
a. Recognition of early warning signs and immediate activation of emergency
medical support. Few patients benefit from defibrillation when more than 10 minutes
elapse before administration of the first shock and/or CPR is not performed in the first
2 to 3 minutes.
b. Immediate bystander CPR. Cardiopulmonary resuscitation helps prolong the
time during which defibrillation can be effective.
c. Early defibrillation. This may be the most important link in the chain of
survival. Rapid defibrillation has successfully resuscitated many patients with cardiac
arrest from ventricular fibrillation. Figure 8-2 shows how an automated external
defibrillator (AED) works.
d. Early advanced cardiac life support.