Psychologie pro praxi (Psychology for Practice) is academic journal focused on practical applications of psychological research and theory, particularly in psychology of work and organization, social psychology, and psychology of education.

PSYCHOLOGIE PRO PRAXI, Vol 55 No 2 (2020), 107–113

Lay first aid giving as a specific traumatic experience

Veronika Kurečková, Pavel Řezáč, Martina Trepáčová, Petr Zámečník

published online: 01. 07. 2022


Despite first aid process has mainly been considered a medical or technical issue; it seems obvious that psychological and social aspects play an important role too. As a pilot study we interviewed ten helping bystanders about their ideas and feelings during and after the first aid. Their reports were analysed, using a qualitative approach. There were various feelings and ideas respondents experienced – temporary blockade, limited ability to recall relevant information, performance decrease, time distortion, selective perception, strong subjective stress. After first aid people experienced doubts about their acts and decisions, quilt and failure feelings, specific relationship between the rescuer and rescued person, feeling of non-terminating, PTSD symptoms, strong need to share the experience. Our respondents reported long lasting discomfort, persisting even years after the experience. Psychological aspects of lay first aid giving are a crucial aspect influencing the efficacy of first aid process but also the future well-being of lay rescuers and should therefore be considered more.

keywords: first aid; trauma; PTSD; BLS; training; bystander

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ISSN: 1803-8670
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