Background: Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) sometime cause severe injuries and can affect quality of life, lead to long-term disabilities or death of the patient. The aim of this study is to identify the risk factors causing CPR-induced injuries and those of serious injuries. Methods: This was a retrospective forensic autopsy study in a single institution. Among 885 forensic autopsies undertaken between 2011 and 2018, those in which the victim had undergone CPR immediately after cardiac arrest were recorded. ‘Serious injuries’ were defined as an Abbreviated Injury Scale (AIS) score ≥ 3. CPR-induced injuries were evaluated by three experienced forensic pathologists. With the background and history of the patient, the circumstances of cardiac arrest and risks of causing CPR-induced injuries were determined by multivariate analyses. Results: Seventy-five victims comprised the study cohort. CPR-induced injuries were found in 52 victims (69.3%). Rib fracture was the most common (60.0%), followed by sternal fracture (37.3%), heart injury (21.3%) and liver injury (8.0%). Multivariate analysis revealed higher age to be an independent factor causing CPR-induced injuries (odds ratio [OR], 1.07, P < 0.001). Thirty-six victims had 39 serious injuries in the chest or abdomen: fracture of ≥ 3 ribs (35 cases), aortic dissection (two), lung contusion (one) and rupture of the heart (one). Multivariate analysis revealed higher age to be an independent factor causing CPR-induced serious injuries (OR, 1.09; P < 0.001). Conclusion: Aging was the significant factor causing CPR-induced injuries and serious injuries.
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