Bystanders Less Likely to Administer CPR to Women in Public, Study Finds

Bystanders Less Likely to Administer CPR to Women in Public, Study Finds

A new study presented at the European Emergency Medicine Congress 2023 reveals that women are less likely to receive cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) from bystanders in public places, leading to higher mortality rates among women who experience cardiac arrest. CPR involves chest compressions and mouth-to-mouth breathing to restore blood circulation and oxygen flow when the heart stops beating.

According to the American Heart Association, sudden cardiac arrest is a leading cause of death, with approximately 350,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests occurring in the US each year. The study aimed to understand differences in CPR administration to men and women by examining records of cardiac arrests that took place outside of hospitals in the US and Canada between 2005 and 2015.

The findings, which have not yet undergone peer review, indicate that of the 39,391 patients with an average age of 67, 54% received CPR from a bystander. Overall, women were slightly less likely than men to receive CPR, with rates at 52% for women and 55% for men. However, when looking specifically at public settings, women received CPR from bystanders at a rate of 61%, compared to 68% for men. Lower rates of CPR for women were observed across different age groups.

Dr. Alexis Cournoyer, an emergency medicine physician and researcher involved in the study, noted that the reasons behind this disparity are unclear. It could be due to concerns about hurting or touching women or assumptions that women are less likely to experience cardiac arrest. Interestingly, the study found that this imbalance was not worsened in younger women, possibly because bystanders may have greater concerns about physical contact without consent.

In private settings, such as homes, the study revealed that the likelihood of receiving CPR decreased with every 10 years of age, with men being 9% less likely and women 3% less likely. The researchers aim to conduct further research to delve deeper into these findings and identify the underlying factors contributing to the differences in CPR administration.

The ultimate goal is to ensure that anyone in need of CPR, regardless of gender, age, or location, receives prompt and effective life-saving measures.

– European Emergency Medicine Congress 2023
– American Heart Association

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