spastica~ I wouldn't be so hard on yourself. They actually DID do CPR on James. He "coded" right there in the emergency room, and they did CPR immediately after his heart stopped. It was textbook. There couldn't have been a better rescue situation, or people better trained to handle his heart stopping.
It didn't help or change anything. The seizure is what did the damage....it was so long, and so strong, that it caused his heart to beat incredibly quickly (250+ times a minute). A flutter like that does two things: it wears the heart out, and it prevents the body from getting enough oxygen. In the end, his heart stopped. The CPR worked to get it started again, but all that "fluttering" of his heart during the seizure resulted in massive brain damage. James was on life support for a week before we found out how bad it really was, and that it wasn't his heart stopping that did the damage.
Another thing....CPR. I spent a long time in the ICU these last couple of weeks talking to doctors. CPR is a high-failure business. With some people it works great, and CPR will oxygenate all the major organs and the brain no problem. It's not universal, though. Some people can only survive a couple of minutes of CPR without oxygen deprivation. Some can survive 10. A few can survive 15 or more. CPR isn't the life-saving device I thought it was. It carries tremendous risk of oxygen deprivation to the brain, and if it goes wrong or goes too long it can be a horrible blow to quality of life.
So even if you could have been there doing all the right things, that doesn't mean you could have saved him. You did NOT fail him.
That's one of the reasons, of many, that I'm glad we did spend that time with James in the ICU, even if all our hope was misplaced. We got to spend a lot of time with doctors, doctors we know were telling it to us straight. I could be sitting here blaming myself, but after talking about the medical side of what happened, I realize it was completely out of my control. A seizure killed him, and there was nothing I could have done to stop it.
s, spastica. Just be gentle with yourself. I cannot believe you failed him.