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After you deal with any first aid emergency, but particularly CPR and AED use, you will experience some form of emotional response. The whole episode can leave you feeling overwhelmed, and it can cause you to doubt your own expertise as well as what the outcome would have been if you had dealt with it differently.
Post-traumatic Stress Disorder affects different people in different ways and this can last for hours, days, months, and sometimes even years after the event.
Common ways it can affect people include flashbacks, nightmares, panic attacks, depression, fear, stress, having a short temper, and personality changes. They may also change the way they act, and they may avoid situations that remind them of the incident.
There is some guidance on Post-traumatic Stress Disorder given by The Royal College of Psychiatrist and we have put a link on the ProTrainings student download area.
Some of the ways they recommend you can help yourself or someone else includes:
Try to talk about what happened with a friend, doctor, family member, or someone at work. Talking may help you put things in perspective.
Try to keep your life patterns as normal as possible to avoid letting the problem take over your life.
Go back to the area where it happened and talk to others if possible who saw what happened.
Take care when getting about especially when driving if your concentration is affected or distracted.
Relaxation and exercise can help. If the issue becomes too overwhelming to handle, talk to a medical professional.
When you deal with any medical emergency, you can only do your best and it is not possible to change things after the event. The important thing is that you helped the person. All anyone can ask of you is to do your best. Feel good that you got involved to help the person; in many cases, people simply cannot be bothered, and they don't help at all.