Deeper chest compression – more complications for cardiac arrest patients?

Link to article at PubMed

Deeper chest compression - more complications for cardiac arrest patients?

Resuscitation. 2013 Mar 5;

Authors: Hellevuo H, Sainio M, Nevalainen R, Huhtala H, Olkkola KT, Tenhunen J, Hoppu S


AIM OF THE STUDY: Sternal and rib fractures are frequent complications caused by chest compressions during cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). This study aimed to investigate the potential association of CPR-related thoracic and abdominal injuries and compression depth measured with an accelerometer. METHODS: We analysed the autopsy records, CT scans or chest radiographs of 170 adult patients, suffering in-hospital cardiac arrest at the Tampere University Hospital during the period 2009-2011 to investigate possible association of chest compressions and iatrogenic injuries. The quality of manual compressions during CPR was recorded on a Philips, HeartStart MRx Q-CPR™ -defibrillator. RESULTS: Patients were 110 males and 60 females. Injuries were found in 36% of male and 23% of female patients. Among male patients CPR-related injuries were associated with deeper mean-and peak compression depths (p<0.05). No such association was observed in women. The frequency of injuries in mean compression depth categories <5, 5-6 and >6cm, was 28%, 27% and 49% (p=0.06). Of all patients 27% sustained rib fractures, 11% sternal fracture and eight patients had haematomas/ruptures in the myocardium. In addition, we observed one laceration of the stomach without bleeding, one ruptured spleen, one mediastinal haemorrhage and two pneumothoraxes. CONCLUSION: The number of iatrogenic injuries in male patients was associated with chest compressions during cardiopulmonary resuscitation increased as the measured compression depth exceeded 6cm. While there is an increased risk of complications with deeper compressions it is important to realize that the injuries were by and large not fatal.

PMID: 23474390 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

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