Cardiopulmonary resuscitation and rib fractures in infants. A postmortem radiologic-pathologic study

JAMA. 1994 Aug 24-31;272(8):617-8.


Objective: To determine the incidence of rib fractures visible at autopsy or with postmortem radiographs after cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) in infants younger than 1 year.

Design: Retrospective review.

Setting: Medical examiner's office in a county consisting of a medium-sized city, towns, and rural areas.

Patients: Ninety-one infants (56 males, 35 females; mean age, 2.4 months; age range, 26 hours to 8.5 months) without evidence of child abuse who had undergone CPR before death.

Methods: Medical records, skeletal surveys, and autopsy results were reviewed.

Results: No patient had rib fractures.

Conclusions: Cardiopulmonary resuscitation is unlikely to cause rib fractures in infants.

MeSH terms

  • Autopsy
  • Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation / adverse effects*
  • Cause of Death
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant Mortality
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Radiography
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Rib Fractures / diagnostic imaging
  • Rib Fractures / etiology*
  • Rib Fractures / pathology