Learn to save a life

When someone suffers a cardiac arrest it means that blood is no longer being pumped around their body and they are clinically dead. The longer they go without basic life-support, the harder it is to restart their heart. That’s where you can make a difference.

If you learn basic life-support you will be able to help restart someone’s heart when they suffer a cardiac arrest. Whether you’re on the street, in someone’s house or in an airport, basic life-support can help you to save lives.

Emergency life-support training courses

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Find out more about the resuscitation training or contact Antoinette Williamson in our resuscitation training team.

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The chain of survival

There are five steps to saving someone’s life. These are known as the chain of survival.

The chain of survival

1. Early recognition

  • It’s important to be able to recognise the symptoms of cardiac arrest.
  • Someone will collapse, stop breathing and start turning grey.

2. Early access

  • If you recognise the symptoms of cardiac arrest in someone you need to call 999 for an ambulance immediately, even before you start to help the patient yourself.
  • If there are other people around, ask them to call the ambulance while you care for the patient.

3. Early basic life-support

  • Doing good-quality chest compressions on someone who is in cardiac arrest keeps blood pumping around the body, until an ambulance arrives.
  • Giving the ‘kiss of life’ helps to keep oxygen in the blood. This process is called cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR), and it will give someone in cardiac arrest the best possible chance of survival.

4. Early defibrillation

  • A defibrillator, or ‘shock-box’, is a machine used to give an electric shock to a patient's heart, when they are in cardiac arrest. The electric shock makes the heart start beating again. It should be used as quickly as possible if someone is in cardiac arrest.
  • Every one of our vehicles carries a defibrillator, and there are also over 450 in public places in London that can be used by trained staff while an ambulance is on the way.

5. Early advanced life-support

  • When ambulance staff arrive at a cardiac arrest patient they will continue resuscitating them using specialist skills and equipment, before taking them to hospital.
  • It’s important to call an ambulance immediately if you see someone in cardiac arrest, so that they can receive this advanced care.


Life-support training courses

If you want to know more about our basic life-support training courses, please contact us.

Direct line: 020 7783 2534

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