Heart Safe Communities

The Chain of Survival is a concept that resuscitation scientists and doctors have developed over the last twenty years, to describe all the processes that need to happen in order to save the life of a cardiac arrest victim; these are recognition that a cardiac arrest has happened and calling for help, performing High-Quality CPR (HQ-CPR), using an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) to deliver a shock to restart the heart, and high-quality life support and post-resuscitation care from paramedics and hospitals.

Heartsafe Communities was started in Massachusetts, and has since spread over the world, and is a program designed to promote survival from sudden out-of-hospital focused upon strengthening the Chain of Survival; it recognises and stimulates efforts by individual communities to improve their systems to promote every link in the Chain.

In the Heartsafe model, a community, which may be a geographical region or an organisation, establishes a set of minimum criteria that must be met in order to achieve Heartsafe status. These are goals that support the Chain of Survival, such as widespread HQ-CPR instruction, public access defibrillators placement plans and fundraising activities, and aggressive resuscitation protocols for first responders and ambulance services. Individual communities can become designated as a Heartsafe Community, with street signs proclaiming this status posted at the edge of town, and substantial media coverage as a result.

Take Heart Australia plans to promote and assist in organising Heartsafe Communities across the whole of Australia. Contact us to see how we can help you to organise your community and reduce the 90% mortality from cardiac arrest where you live.