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What happens AFTER you give someone CPR?

We all like to think that should we ever be called upon to help someone in trouble that we’d be able to give them what they need. (It’s nice to imagine ourselves as a life-saving hero.)

But even if you are skilled and trained in say CPR, there is always the question of what happens AFTER you help someone? (We were reminded of this recently because a graduate of one of our classes literally had to perform life-saving CPR on someone close to them, within days of completing their first-aid training with us.)

There’s no doubt that having someone have a heart attack in front of you, is a pretty confronting experience. If you’re trained and feel confident that you know what to do, often the adrenaline will kick in and you’ll just jump into action.

If you know what you are doing, you should produce a positive outcome (but not always). But no matter what happens, you may find yourself dealing with some of the after effects, which can actually be quite strong. From reports it seems a lot of people experience things like:

· Shock

· Emotional ups & downs

· Anxiety or flashbacks

· Blaming yourself (particularly if the outcome wasn’t good)

· Wanting to be left alone

· Feeling numb or hopeless

If you find yourself suffering from these after giving someone CPR, just remember everyone has different ways of coping after they experience what can be a traumatic event. Try to remember that if you have these feelings they will most likely lessen and pass with time.

But there are some practical things you can do to lessen the impact of the event. Talking to friends and family about the incident and going over it again can help displace some of the upset. It can also help to spend a little extra time taking care of yourself. Do some things you enjoy, like going for more walks in pleasant places or spending time in a beautiful garden or at a lovely beach or somewhere else nice.

It can also help to read up a bit more on what happens during say a heart attack or cardiac arrest so you understand more about what was going on with the person while you were trying to help them. Such incidents rarely have long-term effects and there’s no need to get overly worried if you don’t feel too good for a few days or even a few weeks after the incident. The last thing you want to do is start worrying your feelings are permanent, they’re not.

And please feel free to contact us, our trainers are very experienced in this area and a quick chat could help you. Call 1300 661 065 anytime.


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