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July 28, 1962

Complications Following Closed-Chest Cardiac Massage

Author Affiliations

Los Altos, Calif.

JAMA. 1962;181(4):337-338. doi:10.1001/jama.1962.03050300057020

WITH THE ADVENT of closed-chest cardiac massage for cardiac arrest, there have appeared reports of complications of this procedure. Morgan has reported a ruptured liver, and Barin ger et al. have reported cases of fractured ribs, hemothorax, hemopericardium, liver injury, and bone-marrow emboli. This paper reports 19 cases of complications that were found at coroners' autopsies. None of these cases involved trauma as the cause of death, so the injuries found could only be complications of the closed-chest cardiac massage. Most of the following cases were dead on arrival at hospital emergency rooms.

Report of Cases

Case 1.—A 67-year-old female was found comatose in bed at home. She died while being admitted to the hospital. A doctor performed closed-chest cardiac massage for approximately 20 minutes. Autopsy findings showed a large myoeardial infarction, and a hematoma around the hilus of the left kidney of 100 cc. of blood.

Case 2.—A 64-year-old

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