Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation is a critical lifesaving tool and we know that it saves thousands of lives every single year; lives that would have been completely lost otherwise. What we fail to realize going in however is that sometimes it might not work.

We watch movies all the time where the hero gets onto his or her knees, performs the procedure, and the victim sputters to life, ready to resume their life while the rescuer is patted on the back. Well, it’s a nice fantasy and it definitely happens a lot of the time, but the truth is that sometimes, it ends in complete tragedy, and these are the times that you need to be prepared for.

Taking a Life Into your Hands

When you commit to providing CPR to an individual two things are happening. The first is that you are making an incredibly brave decision that you should absolutely be applauded for; not everyone is able to do that. The second is that you are running the risk of losing your patient. Essentially, by committing to this lifesaving procedure you are accepting that they might not make it out alive, and that can be a horrible thing that weighs heavily on your conscience. So what do you do? How do you cope? 

As you are preparing to provide CPR understand that you are trying and that you are using a lifesaving method that has been in circulation for decades. If executed according to your training there is a chance that they will walk away perfectly fine, and they will definitely thank you for your actions. That simple fact makes the entire thing worth it.

When Things Go Wrong

As we’ve already hinted, there may be times when things go terribly wrong and the individual might in fact die. So what do you do when that happens? How do you begin to cope with it? It?s not going to be easy, but you already know that. We could tell you that you need to accept you did the right thing and that you need to move on, but when a life literally slips through your hands, moving on is going to be a tall order. Take the following steps to ensure your mental health after a tragic event like this.

Keep Your Friends Close – We cannot overstate the importance of keeping your friends close during this time. Speak to them, learn their opinions, and most importantly, go to them for comfort.

Seek Professional Help – While going to your friends for help is a great idea you also need to seek out professional help if you are going to get through this. See a psychiatrist whether it’s on your own or through your place of employment and learn how to deal with your feelings – it is one of the most beneficial things that you can do.

You must accept that things can go wrong in a CPR situation, but that doesn’t mean you should abstain from helping altogether. Learn how to deal with the situation and come out stronger on the other side.

Video: When CPR Doesn’t Work

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