Severe Vertebral Body Fracture-Dislocation as a Result of Chest Compressions: A Case Report



      Although high-quality chest compressions are an essential, lifesaving component of cardiopulmonary resuscitation, injuries are common with both manual and mechanical chest compressions.

      Case Report

      We discuss the case of a 77-year-old woman who sustained thoracic vertebral fractures after cardiopulmonary resuscitation involving both manual and mechanical chest compressions.

      Why Should an Emergency Physician Be Aware of This?

      Routine post-cardiac arrest care should include evaluation for chest compression-related injury. If a patient has back pain, focal vertebral tenderness, or paraplegia after chest compressions, imaging to evaluate for vertebral fracture should be performed. If unable to assess for back pain or tenderness, consider imaging to evaluate for vertebral fracture in patients with kyphosis or osteopenia, as these patients are at higher risk for chest compression vertebral injury.


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