Cardiopulmonary resuscitation in patients with a Nuss bar - A case report and review of the literature

Garrett K. Zoeller, Garret S. Zallen, Philip L. Glick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


Pectus excavatum (PE) is a common chest wall deformity that may produce a variety of physiological and psychological effects in children and adolescents. In addition, some of these patients have associated cardiac diseases (ie, mitral valve prolapse and Marfan syndrome). Recently, a minimally invasive surgical repair of PE that requires sternal bar placement has become increasingly frequent to enhance patients' cardiopulmonary functioning as well as their self-esteem. However, despite this innovative technique, it is possible for such patients to have a cardiac arrest while their sternal bar is in place. Whether the presence of a metal bar on the underside of their sternum may hinder resuscitative chest compressions (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) is an issue that concerns us, our patients, and their families; the answer requires further investigation. We present a 21-year-old man with PE who underwent a minimally invasive pectus repair but had a fatal cardiac event before bar removal. Paramedics conducting cardiopulmonary resuscitation on the patient later reported that they were unable to deliver effective cardiac compressions and that the sternal bar may have contributed to this.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1788-1791
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of pediatric surgery
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Cardiopulmonary resuscitation
  • CPR
  • Minimally invasive pectus excavatum repair
  • Nuss procedure
  • Pectus excavatum

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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