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Purpose The purpose was to illuminate meanings of people’s lived experiences of surviving an in-hospital cardiac arrest. Materials and methods This was an explorative, phenomenological hermeneutic study to illuminate meanings of lived experiences. Participants were identified through the Swedish national register of cardiopulmonary resuscitation and recruited from two hospitals. A purposive sample of eight participants, 53 to 99 years old, who survived an in-hospital cardiac arrest 1-3 years earlier, was interviewed in 2016. Data was analyzed and interpreted by moving through the methodological steps of naïve understanding, structural analysis, and comprehensive understanding. Results The survivors were striving to live in everyday life and striving for security. The struggle to reach a new identity meant an existence between restlessness and a peace of mind, searching for emotional well-being and bodily abilities. The search for existential wholeness meant a quest for understanding and explanation of the fragmented cardiac arrest event and its existential consequences. The transition from hospital to home meant a transition from care and protection to uncertainty and vulnerability with feelings of abandonment, which called for a search for security and belonging, away from isolation and loneliness. Conclusions Surviving in-hospital cardiac arrest means existential thoughts about the life-threatening event and the “new” fragmented lifeworld. The search for, and the achievement of, existential wholeness and security makes a new identity and everyday life possible. The patient’s vulnerability and abandonment can be further understood by means of the concept of hospital-to-home-transition. Hence, the healthcare system should play a significant role when it comes to facilitate cardiac arrest survivors’ security during hospital-to-home-transition.

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© Copyright 2019 Morressier GmbH. All rights reserved.

© Copyright 2019 Morressier GmbH.
All rights reserved.