A new study suggests women are less likely than men to get CPR (Cardiopulmonary resuscitation) from a bystander and more likely to die if there are no paramedics around when that kind of emergency intervention is required. Researchers think a reluctance to touch a woman’s chest might be a major factor.
Statistically speaking only 39 per cent of women suffering cardiac arrest in a public place were given CPR versus 45 per cent of men, and men were 23% more likely to survive. The results were based on nearly 20,000 cases and this is the first time gender differences have been examined.
“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. Rescuers also may worry about moving a woman’s clothing to get better access, or touching breasts to do CPR, but doing it properly “shouldn’t entail that,” said another study leader. “You put your hands on the sternum, which is the middle of the chest. In theory, you’re touching in between the breasts.”
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