How do paramedics get over the guilt of failed rescue after subjects pass away?

Check it out and add your own thoughts in the comments


A question posted recently on Quora asked, “How do paramedics get over the guilt of failed rescue after subjects pass away?” Jon Frattaroli, a 10-year EMT veteran, gave his opinion on the topic below. Check it out and add your own thoughts in the comments.

This is a great question. 

I've been an EMT for nearly ten years and I have unfortunately had people die in my arms. But, the answer to your question greatly depends on the situation. 

For example, an 80-year-old person who has a heart attack and dies generally does not affect a professional EMT or paramedic as it's the natural course of life. Yes, we would like to save all of our patients. But, sometimes, it's just not possible and elderly deaths are just part of the job. 

On the other hand, if I lose a young person, it can be very difficult to get over. While most people in Emergency Services have "seen it all," anybody who has a young person die in their ambulance is usually affected by it...sometimes deeply. 

To get over it, we talk to our crewmates and sometimes to professional counselors depending on the severity of the call. Personally, when I lose a young patient, I tend to hug my wife and kids a little more than normal, but it can take me months to stop thinking about those failed rescues.

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