In my 40 years I never had to call an ambulance until last month. I’ve been thinking about it all and working out the times from my phone record and time of death and I realised the first paramedic took 24 mins to arrive. My husband had his heart attack within a few mins of my call at 9.03 and I began CPR which I continued with until after paramedic arrived at 9.27 (he then had to put ppe on whilst I was begging him to take over as my body was stopping but it took a few more mins) . My husband was pronounced dead at 10.17am. I live in an urban area really close to a major motorway. Don’t you think 24 mins is a long time or is this normal now in the UK? I feel so angry as I was reading something that for every minute without medical help during cardiac arrest the chance of dying increases by 10% also apparently the expected response time is 7mins. Maybe because I tried so hard to reman calm they didn’t prioritise us. Maybe this could have been different?
Hi Fleur. You did your best. I have been beating myself up mentally over what happened to my husband ever since he went into hospital. All I can say is that outside of a hospital, the chances of surviving a cardiac arrest are very slim. Inside a hospital, with all the equipment and drugs, few patients survive until discharge. If it would help, you could ask for a meeting with the ambulance service to go through what happened. I can understand and feel your heartbreak, which I share. Life - and death - can be so bitterly unfair at times. Hugs, Cxxx
Also, I think the 10% refers to the time without CPR delivery - and you gave your husband CPR. Cxxx
My dearest FleurdeLis my thoughts are with you on this
My hubby had a massive cardiac arrest in front of me and I called 999 , I pulled him of the chair and had already initiated cpr however they took over half an hour to get here . In my heart of hearts I knew that he was gone, he took a massive breath and then lost control of his bladder, me I was I was a qualified trainer in CPR ant tbh it makes me feel so guilty that I couldn’t help him , a job I will never ever go back to ! When they arrived I told he was gone , but they incubated him to know effect x My mind plays over that every moment of every day xxxx
Can I reassure you that the chances of surviving a heart attack outside of hospital are approx 5 percent.
When my dad died 22 years ago of a heart attack at home it played on my mind for years that he could have survived if the ambulance had got there quicker.
5 years after my dad died i joined the emergency services and learnt how low the chances are.
The introduction of de fib machines has improved chances slightly, but still the vast majority will not survive.
I hope this puts your mind at ease as it did me.
@FleurDeLis It’s impossible. I also tried CPR but I also had to put some clothes on, we always slept naked. The 999 person told me what to do. I had to get our cat into a safe room. How ridiculous is that but she can’t go outside and we loved her so much. It’s a panic and we can only do the best we can do. Do I think I could have saved him? No. The paramedics were here within 5 minutes. Worked on him for an hour.,That bloody machine.STOP COMPRSSIONS START COMPRESSIONS STAND BACK SHOCK SHOCK. I can hear it now. I hope someone helps us. We need something
I couldn’t have asked for more reassuring responses. I felt so very angry, with myself, with the 999 operator and with the paramedics but these responses and some time to reflect on them has dissapated it. Thank you and this is why this forum is a great help, your combined experiences ring true with me and for now at least have given me some peace.
@Johnswife yes the machine haunts me, I sat hugging my knees to my chest at the bottom of the stairs on the floor listening to it over and over and the only thing worse was when it stopped and I heard them phone their supervisor and all agree it was 10.17am and then decide who should come and tell me and then I knew it was really true.
During the time whilst they were working on my husband early on after my initial panic subsided and I could move again I packed a handbag, got coats for us both ready, found an umbrella, fed the cats, plaited my hair and carefully turned off my work computer as I was thinking we’d go to the hospital and then be coming back later. It still amazes me I decided to plait my hair. It was to get it out of my way but still, who does that.
I hope we can find some hope and peace from these flashbacks and horrible thoughts. Take care xxx
@FleurDeLis I was very calm and composed when I made the 999 call. Is the patient breathing? I have had to make several 999 for my Dad and Mum but then the answer was always yes. For John it was no and I gave our address and spelt out the name of our road and house very carefully. Stay calm so they can find us. I sat on the stair watching it all. My daughter actually answered her phone at 4am and got to us within 15 minutes. She shouted out John John come on we love you. I looked at her and shook my head she came and sat with me. After they switched off the machine and went downstairs I lay on the floor beside him and kissed him one last time. I took off his wedding ring. You platted your hair, fed the cats, and packed a bag. I think our brains just take over and we actually acted in a very dignified way. I think we honoured their death and took care of them right until the end. We did well. It’s now we are paying the price with grief. You and I did everything we could. Nothing to feel guilty about at all. Sending love and strength xx
Oh my lord, reading your post and the replies. I’m so sorry this happened to you. I can’t imagine how it must feel at the time and after.
No help for you I know but please know that I’m thinking of you both