Recently I’ve been in the thick of resuscitations. The 4 month old baby was the mega downer of them all. I seem to have been to a lot of kids in the past year and attended coroners inquests as a result. All very stressful but usually I am able to deal with it in my own time and in my own way. Some take longer to get over than others and some just lurk in the back of the sub-conscious and appear at the most unexpected moments. My temper is getting better now that I realise I’m not infallible. I hurt and cry just like anyone else.
In my last seven resuscitations (all within a five day shift) I’ve actually got four back. (When I say I that includes my crewmate at the time). All four people arrested and presented with VF. Using the new resus guidelines CPR and/or shocks were administered. The biggest driver of them all was ‘minimum time off the chest’. Keep the time between chest compressions and checking monitors/pulses etc short. And it works. Out of the four people resuscitated one died later in A/E, one ended up in ICU to undergo therapeutic induced hypothermia and the other two regained consciousness before arriving at the hospital. All three have been discharged from hospital with no neurological deficit.
To have so many successful outcomes in such a short space of time is bizarre. The survival to discharge of post cardiac arrest patients is very small. The survival to hospital admission is also very small. But since using the new guidelines and been aggressive in cardiac arrest management (not violent but thorough) we are starting to see a difference. And seeing all three patients with their families going home is the biggest buzz ever. So like I said I hurt and cry like anyone else, I also smile and laugh a lot just the same. And at the end of a shift I can go home too!