This study aims to identify themes associated with St John volunteer first aiders’ post-resuscitation experience following an out-of-hospital sudden cardiac arrest, and to make suggestions for future practice in education and research.Methods
This study was exploratory and descriptive in design, utilising a single focus group as a means of data collection. All five participants from a single resuscitation event participated in the focus group. The focus group was electronically recorded and transcribed verbatim. The results were then thematically analysed.Results
The focus group participants described four themes associated with successful resuscitation of a casualty following sudden cardiac arrest. These themes were: postresuscitation casualty management; interactions with health care professionals; critical incident stress management and learning about the casualty’s outcome.Discussion
Education of first aid service providers should include post-resuscitation casualty management, this could be achieved by including the chain of survival in its entirety rather than the DRABCD (danger, response, airway, breathing, circulation and defibrillation) resuscitation action plan only. Similarly, ambulance paramedics require an understanding of semi-automatic external defibrillators as used by first aid service providers. In particular, the limitations of semi-automatic external defibrillators should be included in education programs for ambulance paramedics and emergency department staff. Finally, first aid service providers should implement formal mechanisms to provide feedback to participants regarding casualty outcomes following a critical event.