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Resuscitation. 2004 Dec;63(3):339-43.

Chest wall injuries following cardiopulmonary resuscitation.

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1
Department of Pathology, Level 2, The Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, 51 Little France Crescent, Edinburgh EH164SA, UK. cathblakinshetland@hotmail.com

Abstract

The forensic records were reviewed of 1823 deaths referred to Edinburgh City Mortuary for autopsy over a 15-month period, 2000-2001; 499 cases (343 males, 156 females) that received CPR prior to death were studied. Rib fractures were found in 29%, sternal fracture in 14%, and 11% of cases showed external chest wall bruising or abrasion. More females sustained rib fractures than males (37% versus 26%; P <0.05). There was no significant gender difference for sternal fracture (females 17%, males 12%; P=0.051). The incidence of rib fractures increased with age (P <0.001). There was no significant difference in the number of left or right ribs fractured (P=0.631). This study incorporates all cases of in and out-of-hospital CPR and does not discriminate for the CPR provider or technique employed, therefore, providing a current and representative overview of the incidence of rib and sternal fractures in non-survivors of CPR.

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