Response To A Person Struggling With Death After CPR

An email came in from a true rescuer who got involved with a man who was in cardiac arrest over the holiday while they were enjoying themselves. They cared enough to get involved and try and save this person’s life but the man stayed dead despite their attempts. This rescuer is struggling with feelings of guilt and that she didn’t do enough. In this episode, I have a very real and honest discussion with understanding living, dying and rescue.

Roy Shaw

Roy is the lead trainer and co-founder of ProTrainings. He is also an EMT paramedic whose opinions about rescue come from many years of experience on the ambulance.

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7 comments on “Response To A Person Struggling With Death After CPR

  1. Roy-

    Thanks so much for a clear and concise take on the effect dying has on EMS professionals.

    Simply put, Dying sucks. it’s the “sukiest” part of living, for sure. It’s an unfortunate reality that as EMS professionals we are far more likely to be witness to the grief of loss. It’s important, however not to internalize it.

    I personally analyze every call (I’m a volunteer in a rural community, they are thankfully rather infrequent) and worry far too much that I didn’t do this or that. I’ve learned over time how unhealthy that is, and have found an outlet in talking to my fellow EMT’s about my concerns.

    It does, and should, I belive, always make me more determined to advance my capabilities as an EMT.

    What Roy’s video explains, however, is that if you did your best in the situation, regardless of the outcome, you have been successful.

    Caring enough to watch RoyOnRescue is definitely one great way to hone your skills so that the next time a situation arises, you are better prepared to handle when life hands us a curveball.

    Thanks, Roy.


  2. glad I found this. This also happened to me. I was out dancing with my husband when the band stopped and made an announcement that if there was a dr or nurse in the building they were needed in the hall. I went out there and there was a gentleman in full arrest. Being a nurse and CPR instructor, I began CPR until paramedics arrived. But later learned he did not make it. I felt so quilty all weekend. The family sent word to me that the dr said nothing would have saved him. He had a stint implanted 2 weeks prior and was told no drinking and was out drinking. That did make me feel better and the family felt better knowing someone was there trying to save him

  3. Roy , i have been a nurse for over thirty years and have done a lot of CPR in my time. i just watched your podcast on the family who attempted CPR and felt unsuccessful. I lost my first CPR attempt just a few weeks ago, and the other nurse and i cried like little kids after we realized we couldn’t get him back. we knew it was his time to go , but after watching your video, it made me feel 99% better . i can not imagine how that family felt as they were on a holiday : we , as nurses were at i say GOD BLESS to that family who tried . and THANK YOU ,Roy , for all your great training sessions and support .

  4. I am nurse in urben hospital small city for 14 years.we have had a lot success CPR in my during shift ,spacialy at night shift.After obtain my experiernce that I undrestant our success direct indipend on attention heart massage.

  5. Thank you so much. My husband and I just went through a situation like this a couple of days ago and I have been feeling horrible ever since. We were camping when a neighbor was bitten by a venomous snake that caused a severe allergic reaction. We did CPR for a very long time before an ambulance finally arrived, but he did not survive. I have been replaying the situation over and over looking for where we went wrong and several of your posts have helped me a lot. I intend to learn as much as I can going forward though, because I never want to feel that helpless and scared again.

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