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J Emerg Trauma Shock. 2012 Jan;5(1):3-6. doi: 10.4103/0974-2700.93094.

Complications of bystander cardiopulmonary resuscitation for unconscious patients without cardiopulmonary arrest.

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1
Critical Care and Emergency Center, Yokohama City University Medical Center, 4-57 Urafune-cho, Minami-ku, Yokohama, Japan.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Insufficient knowledge of the risks and complications of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) may be an obstructive factor for CPR, however, particularly for patients who are not clearly suffering out of hospital cardiopulmonary arrest (OH-CPA). The object of this study was to clarify the potential complication, the safety of bystander CPR in such cases.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:

This study was a population-based observational case series. To be enrolled, patients had to have undergone CPR with chest compressions performed by lay persons, had to be confirmed not to have suffered OHCPA. Complications of bystander CPR were identified from the patients' medical records and included rib fracture, lung injury, abdominal organ injury, and chest and/or abdominal pain requiring analgesics. In our emergency department, one doctor gathered information while others performed X-ray and blood examinations, electrocardiograms, and chest and abdominal ultrasonography.

RESULTS:

A total of 26 cases were the subjects. The mean duration of bystander CPR was 6.5 minutes (ranging from 1 to 26). Nine patients died of a causative pathological condition and pneumonia, and the remaining 17 survived to discharge. Three patients suffered from complications (tracheal bleeding, minor gastric mucosal laceration, and chest pain), all of which were minimal and easily treated. No case required special examination or treatment for the complication itself.

CONCLUSION:

The risk and frequency of complications due to bystander CPR is thought to be very low. It is reasonable to perform immediate CPR for unconscious victims with inadequate respiration, and to help bystanders perform CPR using the T-CPR system.

KEYWORDS:

Cardiopulmonary arrest; cardiopulmonary resuscitation; complication; education

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