Women Less Likely To Receive CPR Because Of Their Breasts, Studies Show

Women Less Likely To Receive CPR Because Of Their Breasts, Studies Show

Lifesaving chivalry is dead, and two new studies from the U.S. purport to know why.

When it comes to your likelihood of receiving bystander CPR.

Two new studies presented at the American Heart Association's conference examined why women are less likely to receive lifesaving aid, and to find ways to address it.

A new survey carried out by the Colorado researchers asked 54 people to explain why women might be less likely to get CPR when they collapse in public.

"Women will probably receive no CPR or delays in initiation of CPR," lead author Sarah Perman said.

In the replies, the team identified four main reasons for this:

  • Potentially inappropriate touching or exposure / fear of being accused of sexual assault;
  • Fear of causing physical injury;
  • Poor recognition of women in cardiac arrest – (specifically a perception that women are less likely to have heart problems, or may "fake" it);
  • The misconception that breasts make CPR more challenging.

"Although the study is too small to discern definite trends, these concerns may represent an important challenge in public health messaging," Perman.

IMAGE: Getty Images

A separate research team in Philadelphia tested a novel approach to exploring bystander response to cardiac arrest.

Because it happens suddenly, real-world cardiac arrest is hard to study, said Marion Leary, lead study author and director of innovation research at the University of Pennsylvania's Center for Resuscitation Science.

"We saw less CPR and (automated external defibrillato) AED use on our female avatar victims on our male avatar victims in our immersive sudden sudden arrhythmia study," she told 10 daily.

READ MORE: Pregnant Wife Gives CPR To Husband In Cardiac Arrest Before Giving Birth

READ MORE: Couple's Love Story Started With A CPR Kiss

Seventy-five participants wore a VR headset and interacting with a CPR dummy in a virtual scenario. The dummy was presented in a randomized way – as either male or female.

Their results showed that people (especially men) were more likely to perform CPR and use an automated external defibrillator on men.

These studies were 1.23 times more likely to receive CPR than women.

Men were therefore found to be two times more likely to survive a cardiac event after bystander CPR.

What Can Be Done About This?

The researchers say that the CPR is the best way to educate people about CPR.

Leary said using virtual reality (VR) enabled her team to learn more about bystander response and how to improve CPR training courses.

Photo Taken In Serbia, Belgrade

"We want to begin to consider that CPR efforts can not focus on a one-size fits every victim for every training," she told 10 daily.

CPR training programs often use a standardized, male dummy and often things like gender and race are not addressed.

Existed, "she said." This could not be the same as "male victims," ​​and "female victims".

Perman adds that helping – and doing it quickly – is the most important message for the public.

"While these are actual fears the public holds, it is important to realize that CPR is lifesaving and should be made to be understood, regardless of gender, race or ethnicity," she said.

When people step in and take action in the first few minutes after someone collapses, the chance of survival dramatically increases.

Australia's Training And Response

While there is no more, the Australian Heart Foundation estimates that 25,000 people suffer from a cardiac arrest outside of Australia every year.

IMAGE: Getty Images

Currently only 10 percent of those people survive.

Less than half of people who suffer a cardiac arrest in the community have CPR, or use an AED before an ambulance arrives.

Red Cross Australia's Senior First Aid Trainer, Janie McCullagh, said 10 daily the organization continues to be bust myths so people are empowered to be first responders.

"We remind people that CPR is a life saver, and if you accidentally break a rib when helping someone survive, they will recover from it."

They said they are first aid trainers, they educate people on how to do it.

"CPR can be done clothed, removing bulky clothing, and applying a defibrillator is really the only scenario which requires direct contact to the skin – and embarrassment should not be in the way of saving a person's life," she said.

Featured image: Getty Images

Contact the author alattouf@networkten.com.au

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