What You Should Do When Ribs Breaks During CPR

What You Should Do When Ribs Breaks During CPR
What You Should Do When Ribs Breaks During CPR

What should you do if you feel a rib break when performing chest compressions?
• Continue carefully
• Start rescue breaths
• Stop compressions
• Turn on stomach

Answer: Continue Carefully

On average, over 80% of victims who undergo Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) will have broken ribs. Do not let this put you off delivering effective chest compressions. For someone conducting CPR, it can be an uncomfortable feeling but it’s very important to continue with chest compressions to keep the victim alive.

When a person has a heart attack, it’s important to deliver chest compressions and rescue breaths to get oxygenated blood flowing around the body. This will keep vital organs, in particularly the heart and the brain, alive.

The rescuer should provide 100 to 120 chest compressions a minute. Many use the beat to the hit song, “Staying Alive” by the Bee Gees, to maintain a rhythmic compression cycle.


Ah, ha, ha, ha, stayin’ alive, stayin’ alive. Ah, ha, ha, ha, stayin’ alive.

The song has at least 100 beats per minute which is the same rate the American Heart Association recommends for CPR chest compressions.

The following information can be a resource to help adjust the chest compression technique during CPR:

• Adults – use two hands
• Children – use one hand
• Infants – use two fingers


Rib fractures are common during CPR and can be treated after the emergency but stopping while someone is having a heart attack could result in death.

Learn how you can help save a life in this one-minute video showing Hands-Only CPR in action. This is the official instructional video from the American Heart Association.

Official AHA Hands-Only CPR Demo Video by the American Heart Association.


~To Your Survival!