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To survive out-of-hospital cardiac arrest: a search for meaning and coherence.

Authors
Type
Published Article
Journal
Qualitative Health Research
1049-7323
Publisher
SAGE Publications
Publication Date
Volume
19
Issue
3
Pages
323–338
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1177/1049732309331866
PMID: 19224876
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

The primary responsibility of prehospital emergency personnel at out-of-hospital cardiac arrests (OHCA) is to provide lifesaving care. Ethical considerations, decisions, and actions should be based in the patient's beliefs about health and well-being. In this article, we describe patients' experiences of surviving OHCA. By using a phenomenological approach, we focus on how OHCA influences patients' well-being over time. Nine survivors were interviewed. Out-of-hospital cardiac arrest is described as a sudden and elusive threat, an awakening in perplexity, and the memory gap as a loss of coherence. Survival means a search for coherence with distressing and joyful understanding, as well as existential insecurity exposed by feelings of vulnerability. Well-being is found through a sense of coherence and meaning in life. The study findings show survivors' emotional needs and a potential for prehospital emergency personnel to support them as they try to make sense of what has happened to them.

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