Women less likely than men to get CPR from bystander

Henrietta Strickland
November 14, 2017

Men are more likely to receive bystander CPR in public locations compared to women, and they are more likely to survive after the life-saving measure, according to preliminary research presented at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions 2017, a premier global exchange of the latest advances in cardiovascular science for researchers and clinicians.

For the study, presented at the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions 2017, researchers evaluated 19,331 cardiac events using data from the Resuscitation Outcomes Consortium, a network of regional clinical centres in the USA and Canada which study out-of-hospital treatments of cardiac arrest and trauma.

Bystanders are more likely to attempt CPR to a person who suddenly had cardiac arrest if that person is a man, findings of a new study have revealed. The researchers also found that men had 23 percent better chances of survival than women after receiving CPR from someone in public. Forty-five percent of men who had cardiac arrest in public received bystander CPR and only 39 percent of the women received the same help.

"It can be kind of daunting thinking about pushing hard and fast on the center of a woman's chest" and some people may fear they are hurting her, said Audrey Blewer, a University of Pennsylvania researcher who led the study.

Initially the reseachers could not identify the reason behind the difference in the gender gap.

"We're only beginning to understand how to deliver CPR in public, although it's been around for 50 years", said Benjamin Abella, M.D., M.Phil., the study's senior author and director of Penn's Center for Resuscitation Science.

Disparities for men and women exist throughout healthcare, experts say.

Scientists from the University Pennsylvania analyzed almost 20,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests. That research showed women were less likely to receive coronary angiography, which can be used to look for blocked arteries; angioplasty, which is the fix or unblocking of an artery; or to have their body temperature lowered to increase the chance of survival reduce the risk of brain damage.

There is limited good news for women on the topic of heart attacks.

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