Women Less Likely to Receive CPR in Public

Accoridng to a recent study by the American Heart Association (AHA) women are less likey to receive CPR in a public setting than men. The study researched over 19,000 out of hospital cardiac arrest cases in both the United States and Canada. These cases included both in public and at home episodes. They study showed that victims who suffered a cardia arrest at home, men received CPR 37% of the time and women 36% of the time. However in public the numbers varied greatly where men received CPR 45% of the time and women 39% of the time.

Now this doesnt come to me as such a shock. Because CPR requires one to expose the chest including removing a bra especially if its an underwire bra the process would make people feel uncomfortable. In other words, people would be more likely to ignore a woman in cardiac arrest and not provide CPR than to enter an awkward situation of having to expose her chest.

The results of the study are as follows:

  1. Overall, bystanders administered CPR in 37 percent of cardiac events in varied locations.
  2. 35 percent of women and 36 percent of men received CPR in the home, showing no significant difference in the likelihood of one gender getting assistance over the other in this setting.
  3. In public settings, 45 percent of men got assistance compared to 39 percent of women.
  4. Men were 1.23 times more likely to receive bystander CPR in public settings, and they had 23 percent increased odds of survival compared to women.

I find two points interesting with this article. First the numbers arent as bad as I thought they be. I thought even fewer women would receive CPR in a public setting than men. This could either be as I mentioned above that people are uncomfortable with exposing a woman in public or people simply associate a cardiac arrest more with men than women. The point I find interesting is that the study doesnt discuss stats related to using an AED. I am curious if the numbers vary even more when it comes to an AED because of the requirement to remove an underwire bra on the female victim. Either way the study is interesting and sheds light on the issue surrounding treatment of female victims of cardiac arrest.

Another element that I would be curious to hear about is the impact of Compression-Only CPR on these numbers. Now that we are emphasizing the importance of Compression-Only CPR, has that led to an overall increase in CPR both in private and public settings. Because there is less interaction with the victim and certainly no need to perform mouth-mouth resuscitation the numbers should be much better.

If you are interested in learning more about Compression-Only CPR or scheduling a course for your organization, please call us at 647-951-1441, send us an email at: courses@corporatecpr.ca or fill out the below form

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