This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://blog.procpr.org/hear-ribs-break-cpr
THE VERY FIRST TIME I DID CPR IN A CODE WAS RIGHT AFTER I PASSED MY BOARDS. THE LADY WAS VERY BIG BUT HER RIB CAGE STOOD OUT FROM HER CHEST. MY HEAD NURSE TOLD ME TO GET ON TOP OF HER AND STRADDLE HER AND BEGIN COMPRESSIONS. I KNEW I WAS IN THE RIGHT SPOT, BUT THE SECOND COMPRESSION DOWN I FELT A CRACK AND HEARD IT TOO. I LOOKED AT MY HEAD NURSE WHO SAID KEEP GOING… THE LADY WAS A FULL CODE. AFTER I DID SEVERAL ROUNDS OF COMPRESSIONS I WAS SO TIRED , MY HEAD NURSE SWITCHED NURSES WITH ME. AT THE END THE LADY DID SURVIVE AND WAS RUSHED TO CCU. SHE DID HAVE A FEW BROKEN RIBS DUE TO OSTEOPOROSIS THE DOC SAID AND IT COULD NOT BE AVOIDED. DO NOT HESITATE TO START COMPRESSIONS; IF IT HAPPENS IT HAPPENS. THERE IS NOTHING YOU CAN DO ABOUT IT. BUT WE SAVED A LIFE!!!
I had a similar experience with my first code. Back in 1983 I worked at the Long Beach VA Hospital and I was on the Code Team. The average vet was from WWII, and the median age was in the 80’'s. Being on the Team, we averaged 33 codes per month, so basically one a day. My first code was on a frail little 80 yr old man and with every compression, I heard and felt the ribs crack. I, too, was told to just continue. We worked on him for about 30 min but he did not survive. The point is, broken ribs can be dealt with later if needed, but do what you have to do for the patient now to improve chances of survival
Broken ribs is not the point in comparison to saving a life, ribs can be dealt with later.
Well yes, I agree with him we cannot compare broken rib to saving a person life. We have to deal with primary first aid first.