How women are less likely than men to receive CPR in public places

Women receive life-saving CPR less often than men, according to a study of tens of thousands of cases.

Researchers in Canada found that about 61 percent of women, compared to 68 percent of men, received CPR if they went into cardiac arrest in public.

Doctors speculated that this could be due to ‘political correctness’ and bystanders feared that a man giving CPR to a woman would ‘seem inappropriate’.

This could put women at greater risk of death from cardiac arrest than men.

About 61 percent of women, compared to 68 percent of men, received CPR when they went into cardiac arrest in public, the study found

More than 356,000 people in the U.S. suffer out-of-hospital cardiac arrest each year, and 60 to 80 percent die before reaching the hospital.

Dr. Alexis Cournoyer, a co-author of the study and an emergency medicine physician at the Montreal Heart Institute Research Centre, said: ‘In an emergency where someone is unconscious and not breathing properly, bystanders should not only call an ambulance, but also give CPR.’

‘This gives the patient a much better chance of survival and recovery.’

The doctors used data from out-of-hospital cardiac arrests in Canada and the US between 2005 and 2015, including 39,391 patients with an average age of 67 years.

They looked at whether or not a bystander performed CPR, where the emergency occurred, plus the patient’s age and gender.

Only about half of the patients – 54 percent – ??received CPR from a bystander, they found.

Overall, women were slightly less likely to require CPR than men (52 percent compared to 55 percent).

When the researchers looked at cardiac arrests that occurred in public, such as on the street, the difference was greater (61 percent of women compared to 68 percent of men). The low figures were found in women, regardless of age.

Dr. Cournoyer said: ‘Our research shows that women who experience cardiac arrest are less likely to receive the resuscitation they need than men, especially if the emergency occurs in public. We don’t know why this is the case.

“People may be concerned about hurting or touching women, or they may think a woman is less likely to go into cardiac arrest.”

Dr. Stuart Fischer, an internist in New York, also said there may be a “sociological component” to the reluctance to resuscitate women in public.

He told ‘Men may be reluctant to perform CPR on women because they fear legal or emotional consequences.’

‘A man who kneels on the sidewalk with a woman who has had a major emergency, many men may feel unnecessarily uncomfortable about that.

‘It’s not a social occasion. It’s a medical emergency.’

To another passerby who saw a man resuscitate a woman from a distance, “It may seem inappropriate,” Dr. Fischer said. “While it’s the opposite, it’s very appropriate.”

“Political correctness must be left far behind” when it comes to saving someone’s life, he added.

Another studyconducted in 2019, asked participants, “Do you have any idea why women are less likely than men to undergo CPR when collapsing in public?”

The main theme they found among the answers was the sexualization of women’s bodies.

Other reasons given included that women are “weaker and more vulnerable and therefore more susceptible to injuries,” which might concern a bystander.

The researchers concluded, “The general public views fear of inappropriate touching, accusations of sexual assault, and fear of causing injury as barriers to bystander CPR of women.”

CPR – known medically as cardiopulmonary resuscitation – should be performed when a person is unconscious and not breathing, or not breathing properly, even if their heart is still beating.

This is called respiratory arrest and will quickly become cardiac arrest without CPR.

If a person is unconscious but breathing normally, he or she should be placed in the recovery position.

This involves pressing hard and quickly into the center of someone’s chest with the heel of your hand. Experts estimate that patients have the best chance of survival if CPR is performed within 30 minutes of cardiac arrest.

Additionally, American Heart Association (AHA) guidelines state that all clothing should be removed from the chest before performing CPR.

Cardiac arrest is a medical emergency that occurs when the heart suddenly stops beating and deprives the rest of the body of oxygen-rich blood, cutting off supply to the brain and causing a person to lose consciousness.

When blood stops flowing to the brain, lungs, and other vital organs, their function is greatly reduced and important body processes needed to keep a person alive shut down.

Brain cells can die within minutes of being deprived of oxygen.

Most cardiac arrests occur when a diseased heart’s electrical system malfunctions.

It causes about 450,000 deaths per year in the US.

Cardiac arrests differ from heart attacks, which occur when the blood supply to the heart muscle is cut off due to a clot in one of the coronary arteries.

Common causes of cardiac arrest include heart attacks, heart disease and myocarditis.

Overdoses of medications and major blood loss can also be a cause.

A defibrillator, a device that delivers electric shocks to the chest wall, can be used to restart the heart.

The shock allows the cells in the heart to recharge, restoring the heart rhythm.

If a defibrillator is not immediately available, CPR can help keep oxygen circulating throughout the body.

The study findings will be presented at the European Emergency Medicine Congress on Monday.