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Side Effects and Complications of CPR and How to Handle Them

Complications & side effects in CPR

Imagine being the lifeline, the only thread between life and death for someone. This is the reality when you’re performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). But while it is a tower of hope, it does not come without its struggles. Results from a study by the National Institutes of Health show that CPR-related injuries such as broken ribs, internal brain damage are not uncommon. It is crucial to be aware of these potential risks, complications of CPR and know ways to handle them. We agree that knowledge is strength, and getting to know these risks gives us a better opportunity to deal with them if need be. Learn more about the side effects of CPR.

What are the most common side effects of performing CPR?

Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) is a technique repeatedly used when it comes to saving lives. But this critical step can also have problems of its own. Although the short-term results of CPR help restore breathing, such a powerful procedure may have unpredictable side effects. Some of these secondary effects are mild such as a sore throat or headache, while others can be very serious. Learn the common side effects:

  1. Broken Chest Bones: The strength of force needed to provide chest compressions in CPR can sometimes cause broken ribs or sternums. This could result in excruciating pain as well as other secondary complications, such as punctured lungs or internal injuries.
  2. Neurological Problems: Neurological disabilities resulting from CPR are common in up to 20% of cases. Hypoxia of the brain causes actions and CPR helps restore normal blood flow.
  3. Vomiting and Aspiration: One of the major complications associated with CPR is vomiting, and if inhaled into the lungs, it can be dangerous and result in aspiration pneumonia. Prompt reaction and accurate positioning of the patient can prevent this complication.
  4. Other Complications: Other possible complications include wounding, intestinal swelling, and infection. They may take place as a result of the physical injury caused by CPR or the underlying condition leading to the application.

Read More: CPR AED Course in Oakville

How serious can complications of cardiac arrest from CPR get?

CPR is a very important and life-saving procedure, but under certain conditions, it can cause serious complications. The nature of the intervention can result in physical injuries, neurological damage, and other problems that, at times, may be life-threatening. It is also essential to realize the extent of these complications because one needs well-thought-out decisions during emergencies and efficient handling of their aftermath. Know how serious can complications of cardiac arrest from CPR get:

  1. Physical Injuries: Although CPR can cause injuries, including broken ribs or sternum fractures and internal organ damage, These injuries can be fatal and often result in additional complications, such as punctured lungs or internal bleeding.
  2. Neurological Damage: Brain hypoxia due to cardiac arrest and the resuscitation phase in the period before defibrillation release could cause substantial brain injury. This may lead to amnesia, aphonia, chorea, and even a severe brain injury.
  3. Pneumothorax and Cardiac Tamponade: Pneumothorax (collapsed lung) and cardiac tamponade (fluid pressure on the heart from accumulation) are major complications of chest compressions that can occur.
  4. Post-Resuscitation Syndrome: This is systemic inflammation that follows successful resuscitation from cardiac arrest. It may result in multi-organ dysfunction syndrome (MODS), an important cause of mortality following the initial survival from cardiac arrest.

Read More: CPR Essentials and Chest Compression Dynamics

What is the risk of aspiration and vomiting during CPR?

CPR vomiting is a common practice and can pose serious risks. The initial focus is on aspiration, which takes place when vomit or foreign bodies enter the lungs. This may result in aspiration pneumonia, which is a serious pulmonary infection that can add to the patient’s troubles. Assess the risk of aspiration and vomiting during CPR.

  • Aspiration pneumonia: Inhaling vomit during CPR may lead to aspiration pneumonia, a serious complication. It can lead to severe CPR lung damage and demands timely medical care.
  • Airway Compromise: Vomiting during CPR also interferes with a patient’s airway, which reduces the efficacy of resuscitation attempts. Timely intervention and proper placement of the patient can reduce this complication.
  • Increased Risk with Air in the Stomach: Air in the stomach during cardiopulmonary resuscitation may lead to vomiting and aspiration. Thoughtful delivery of rescue breaths can minimize this risk.
  • Limitations in Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest (OHCA) Settings: Thus, vomiting or secretions may cause a further decrease in the efficacy of some airway management procedures in OHCA settings, adding one more layer to this process.

How can CPR-related injuries be effectively managed?

The management of CPR injuries involves prevention, immediate management, and post-resuscitation care. Since CPR requires an emergency response, some injuries might be inevitable. But knowing these possible complications and the ways to handle such situations can drastically change patient outcomes.

  • Prevention through Proper Technique: Proper technique during CPR can help avoid certain injuries. For instance, appropriate continuous chest compressions with the right rhythm and depth may prevent rib fractures as well as other skeleton injuries. Additionally, good airway management can reduce complications such as aspiration.
  • Immediate Response and Care: During injuries, prompt response is critical. For instance, after vomiting, a rapid position change prevents aspiration. Pain relief may also include the administration of analgesics to patients suffering from pain due to chest compressions.
  • Post-Resuscitation Care: It is crucial to monitor complications that occur after successful resuscitation. In the case of suspected injuries such as rib fractures or internal organ damage, you must need urgent medical treatment.
  • .Continuous Training and Education: Providing regular training and refresher courses for healthcare professionals as well as lay rescuers helps keep people abreast of the most effective CPR methods. This may prevent CPR-induced injuries and ensure the quality of the procedure.

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CPR on its own is a life-saving measure, but there are complications such as physical injuries, brain damage, and aspiration. These side effects of CPR highlight the need for correct technique and timely reaction during intrusion. Managing any injuries sustained is dependent on post-resuscitation care. Continuous training guarantees the latest practices. While these may be the side effects, CPR in an emergency is of paramount help rather than harm, making it a crucial tool used by medical experts during emergencies.