The Lived Experience of Survivors of Pre-Hospital Arrest Following Therapeutic Hypothermia
AuthorPerl, Melanie Perl
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ABSTRACT In 2013, the American Heart Association estimated that 359,400 Americans experienced cardiac arrest and only 9.5% of those people survived. In the 2015 American Heart Association guidelines for Basic Life Support (BLS) and Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS), therapeutic hypothermia (targeted temperature management) has been declared the gold standard of treatment after the return of spontaneous circulation (ROSC) when the patient has persistent coma. Some of these patients live, some don’t. For those at the bedside caring for therapeutic hypothermia patients, this leaves many unanswered questions. The purpose of this study is to understand the lived experience of survivors of pre-hospital arrest treated with therapeutic hypothermia. Understanding this phenomenon will contribute to the science of nursing practice and assist those who provide direct care for the patients better understand the experience from the patient’s perspective as well as areas of care that may need to be reassessed and improved. The methodology that was utilized for this qualitative study was phenomenology. A total of three participants were recruited for this study. There were two women and one man whose ages ranged from 51 to 69 years. Themes uncovered were: Loss of time, urgency to leave the hospital, physical changes, lack of end-of-life planning,cooper and acknowledgement of own death. These findings can help bedside providers better understand the needs of the patient as well as the importance of discharge education and follow-up care.