Having worked as a Nurse for 38 years ten of them doing travel contracts, some offshore and some in the bush, I've criscrossed the country and have had many oportunities to make the decissIon to make known my training as a Nurse and decide whether or not to render aide, very scary, especially if there is no MD aboard or available or there are extreme obstacles, weather conditions or distances to be taken into consideration. Even scarier if the MD has no cardiac arrest training, or the situation may require surgery.
I salute you both for coming forward. I Discussed this scenario with coleagues whom I frequently consult with as experts in their field. One is an AHA certified ACLS Trainer, another is the Chief of Trauma at a large Level One Trauma Hospital, another a Board Certified Cardiologist, and finally with Certified Legal Nurse Consultants. We hope to reassure you so you can breathe a little easier. You did not say whether the patient/victim survived or not, we'll assume that he did.
The consensus was that your actions whether comfortable or not were absolutely acceptable practice and we would be very surprised and saddened if any legal action were to be brought against you, and shame on them. Had you been in house, an MD familiar with leading a code may have been available with in a short time frame, you would be expected to continue to follow the protocol until a) the victim becomes stable (with or without AED assisted pacing ) b) you are relieved of leading the code by a superiorly trained provider or c) the patient expires, flat lines, bleeds out.
In your situation, once you responded, assessed the tools and drugs available and your training kicked in, I got the impression that you followed the current AHA logarithm of AED ASSISTED assesment, airway, breathing, compressions, defibrillation, and drugs according to AHA Protocol. This protocol is the same one followed by EMT's and hunting guides, etc in the AK Bush when out of range of cell/ radio service. In most if not all states and Federal Air space you should be covered by good Samaritan Laws.
Again, my kudos to you for stepping up. I hope this will spur action by the FAA to address this issue, They missed the plane with regard to addressing it pre-emptively and publicly. Perhaps the ANA &AMA will step up to the plate to join the discussion and decision making process.
Will follow this link for update.