Survival Quiz #115
(Modern Survival.org) – 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. Here’s why…
Many people are reluctant to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) on a victim in need due to the fear of breaking the person’s ribs. In a life-or-death situation, however, should this fear prevent potentially life-saving treatment?
How Likely are Rib Breaks?
In order to pump enough blood to circulate through an average adult’s body, 60 pounds of pressure are required. That’s enough to compress the chest by a full two inches. While this amount of pressure is enough to cause damage to a person’s skeleton, certain factors such as age and gender can make a broken rib or fractured sternum more likely.
According to the American Academy of CPR and First Aid, females are statistically more susceptible to suffering an injury while having CPR performed on them. Old age will also make a person more likely to suffer an injury during CPR.
Should CPR Be Continued After a Rib Breaks?
While performing CPR, there is a chance a rib may crack, pop or break beneath the hands during compressions. Breaking someone’s rib can be unsettling and scary, even for trained professionals. But, even if ribs break, it is important to continue chest compressions and rescue breaths until the victim is resuscitated or emergency services arrive to take over.
When performing chest compressions, it’s important to keep a rhythm. Here is a video that provides some popular songs you can hum or sing to keep time:
Broken ribs will elongate the recovery period for the victim. However, the pain caused by these injuries is better than death.
Knowing how to handle an emergency situation when another person’s life is at stake is incredibly important. You never know when you could be called upon to save the day for a family member or a complete stranger.
To see how to help someone who has fainted, check out our article here.
~Here’s to Your Survival!
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