With up to 80% of Sudden Cardiac Arrests occurring in a domestic environment, it’s inevitable that untrained (lay) people get involved or witness a resuscitation attempt utilising CPR and/or AED shocks.
We definitely wouldn’t want to put anyone off from getting involved in a resuscitation attempt by saying this (see “Would you do CPR again” below), but it can at best be an unsettling experience and at worst a traumatic event that can live on long after the immediate emergency has passed.
Would you do CPR again?
In a recent survey of those who had attempted resuscitation nearly 100% said they would do it again irrespective of the outcome and their experience of their first attempt.
Sudden Cardiac Arrest UK was originally set up to primarily support survivors but family and others close to the survivor were always welcome. Over time we have seen that many of these non-survivors have their own distinct need for support as so we set up the Chain of Survival UK group. Through this and a wider survey we conducted, we have seen that many are indeed “forgotten patients” as they have experienced a negative impact from the SCA event, but have received little or no support afterwards. Many find comfort in the group but we feel more should be done and our new resource is just a start of hopefully better things to come.
As part of a series of resources we are developing along with subject matter experts (primarily from the Essex Cardiothoracic Centre CARE team), we have created one specifically for laypeople who have witnessed or been involved with a resuscitation attempt. This has been crafted with the input from cardiologists, a clinical psychologist, resuscitation experts and perhaps most important, members from Chain of Survival UK – people who have experienced this event and who we are targeting the resource at.
This result of our efforts is available on our website page here and also as a PDF (see below) and it was designed to be given to someone soon after the event in question. It is deliberately not an exhaustive document and aims to just give an overview of what they might have experienced and gives pointers to where further help is available. Ideally, anyone involved in an event such as an SCA would have the option for face to face help, be it a friendly chat, a debrief by a medical professional or perhaps more in-depth by way of a trained counsellor or therapist.
You can flick through the pdf below or download it here.SCA_Chain-of-Survival-booklet_v3i
We’d like to get this resource out to anyone who needs it and if you are in a position to help advertise or distribute it please do get in touch. Although please bear in mind this is just available electronically at the moment (we are open to options for getting it printed!)