Breaking Ribs while giving CPR

Discussion in 'Finance, Property, Law' started by No_Duff, Nov 18, 2010.

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  1. I had to perform CPR on an elderly bloke a couple of days ago, I snapped 2 ribs on the first compression and another 1 on the next compression. When the Medics arrived I told them I had broken 3 ribs on the bloke, they said no problems and asked me to carry on for a minute while they got their magic kit set up.

    Today I've been visited by 2 relatives of the bloke (he died in hospital)who heard what I said to the Medic and are saying that if I hadn't assaulted him and broke his ribs he would still be alive. I feel that they are looking for compensation.

    As the Law stands, have I " assaulted " the bloke by doing CPR ?

    Any advice appreciated.
  2. I have it on good authority that no judge will prosecute a first-aider who injures a casualty whilst attempting CPR.
  3. Nothing to worry about it's quite common.
  4. The above is correct as far as I'm aware with the caveat that the first aider is competant at CPR.
  5. Ribs normally break on CPR, know x2 1st aiders that have done exactlly the same as you. Both died but not attributed to broken ribs (they were toast regardless).
    Unless you were incompetent in your approach or were setting out to injure him no worries, however they relatives are sad and angry at their loss so expect them to lash out.
  6. Acting as a first aider, you were acting in the best interests of the casualty, and there is a law to protect you in this case. Can't exactly what it is off the top of my head. Will have a look through my work protocols for the exact wording.
  7. As a side the Law tend to look at claims for assault whilst helping with 1st aid with a very dim view, it is counter productive to the whole point of 1st aid.

    P.s. did you get his wallet and gold teeth whilst he was down?:)
  8. Thanks for the replies, I hope that they'll see sense in a few days time, but the family are, how can I put it, chav's of the lowest order. They had probably phoned a "No Win, No Fee" company before the guy got to Hospital.
  9. The cause of death won't be broken ribs.
  10. I'd find their place of residence and put petrol through the letter box

    Human beings are ***** and the different stages of grief can make them do and say stupid shit.

    **** em
  11. No, sadly members of his family were there first. I'm surprised he still had any clothes on.
  12. If you did it as part of you job then competance and training will be brought into question should the broken ribs have caused death.

    However off the top of my head I think it goes along the lines of If you did nothing would he have died anyway? remember as a first aider you job is to try to keep the casualty alive until professional service arrives.

    Don't worry about it you can not be done for assault as it is assumed the casualty has given concent for you to try and save thier lives :)
  13. I agree with the other posts and would add that few folk are brought back successfully from first aider CPR.
  14. chrisg46

    chrisg46 LE Book Reviewer

    As others have said, no dramas. I was told once that if you dont break ribs, you are not doing it right...
  15. Whilst on the annual Arnhem pilgrimage a few years back the same thing happened to a mate of mine ( ex 2Para and 23 PFA) who gave CPR to an elderly patient who collapsed on the quayside by the John Frost bridge. He said that he broke 2 ribs whilst carrying out CPR, but in this case there was a happy ending as the patient lived. As stated in earlier replies it is quite normal to break a rib or 2 specially in the elderly. Chin up mate, you did your best and no judge or jury would convict you!!