Should Ribs Break During CPR?

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CPR is a vital, life-saving procedure that everyone should be familiar with. However, being familiar with it does not mean not having questions. Perhaps one of the most common inquiries during CPR training in Los Angeles is: should ribs break during CPR?

You may have seen articles and memes being shared on social media that state that if CPR is being done correctly, ribs will be broken. However, this isn’t exactly true.

While it is possible to break bones during CPR, this does not need to occur for the procedure to work properly. In other words, do not listen for the cracking of bones to determine if you are doing a good job – this is a very important point. Instead, focus on a steady rhythm and the proper depth of compressions.

The ribs are connected to the sternum by costal cartilages. This makes the ribs slightly flexible, allowing them to expand and contract when breathing, and also allowing for CPR without needing to injure the bones in every case. It is important to know that this cartilage can make popping noises during CPR, which can be mistaken for the sound of broken bones.

Infants and children have more delicate bones, but they also have specialized CPR techniques that should be used on them, which you can learn through first aid training in Los Angeles. The elderly also tend to have bones that are weaker; however, standard adult CPR techniques should still be used as broken bones are a better outcome than what would result from not receiving CPR.

Become a Certified LifeSaver

Whether you are looking to get certified for your job or for your own peace of mind, LifeSaver Team CPR offers comprehensive CPR and First Aid training classes you need to be prepared if and when it is needed. You can choose from classes for medical professionals, everyday citizens, and those focusing on CPR for infants and children. To learn more and / or sign up please contact LifeSaver Team today at (818) 687-7283 or visit for further information.

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