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  • Writer's pictureDr. Steven Horwitz

Rib Fracture - A Rare Complication of CPR Compressions

  • Rib fracture is the most common complication (19.7%–73.7%), followed by sternal fracture (14.0%). (1), (3)

  • Although most of these injuries are not life-threatening, severe injuries have often been found in 2.0% of cases. (1)

  • Chest compressions during cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) can be traumatic to patients. (1)

  • Sternal (breastbone) fractures occur in 1 of 5 resuscitation attempts, and costal (rib) fractures occur in 1 of 3. (2)

  • Two-thirds of patients with costal fractures have 3 or more fractures in adjacent ribs. (2)


  1. Aging is only significant factor causing CPR-induced injuries and serious injuries

  2. A rare complication of cardiopulmonary resuscitation

  3. CPR-related thoracic injuries: comparison of CPR guidelines between 2010 and 2015

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