How To Process Feelings Of Guilt When CPR Doesn’t Work

I received an email from a person who provided CPR to their father but unfortunately, their father did not respond to the CPR and remained dead.  The child who provided CPR to them is now dealing with incredible feelings of failure and guilt.  They feel as though they failed their father.  They feel as though they did not help enough.  They are sad, but they also feel responsible that their loved one is gone.

I knew I had to respond to this as soon as possible so I recorded a direct message to them in hopes that it can help them understand that they did everything right and what’s more…they showed a wonderful act of love to their father.  I hope this helps them but I also hope it helps others who are suffering from the same or similar feelings.  Peace Be With You.

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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One comment on “How To Process Feelings Of Guilt When CPR Doesn’t Work

  1. Roy, you where oh so correct at the words given to the young lady that lost her dad even though she desperately attempted CPR and rescue attempts. I know this because I had to have 5 bypasses because of a heart attack which had been a long time comng. My heart surgeon advised my wife that he did not see how I survived as the blockages where in the lower descending arteries and large veins that feed and nourish the heart with oxygen. The area known as the widow maker and being called that for a reason, as you know. No warning before the event and sudden cardiac failure. At times even in the emergency room with all the necessary technology, lives due to cardiac events are lost becase it was the patients time to leave this world. I am just a lucky survivor of this event, because the surgeon said that I should have been gone well before the surgery took place. I take that as it was not my time as yet and can attest to what you told the caregiver to be at peace.
    I could see your compassion and that you have been there before and you still find it difficult even though you practice life saving skills all the time. There is no failure when an attempt is made. The heart continuously works 24/7/365 an never shuts down until the end of our life. It is an increditable pump that everyone is given that can not be duplicated, but in time will wear out and eventually shut down causing the inevitable to occur. Thanks Roy for our words and the compassion you as a skilled professional and trainer to others to learn these skills and be able to assist other’s at just the chance to survive, although not always will be the case.

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