According to a recent study, women are less likely to receive CPR from a bystander especially if that bystander is male. Researchers think the reason for this is due to a reluctance to touch a woman’s chest.
The study went through twenty thousand cases of cardiac arrest and extrapolated those where the females received CPR. The results showed 39 percent of women who suffered cardiac arrest in a public space were given CPR. This comes in contrast to men, which returned a 45 percent value. Based on these results, men were 23 percent more likely to survive in such cases.
Cardiac arrest occurs when the heart stop pumping and administering cardiopulmonary resuscitation can be the key to saving somebody’s life. More than a quarter of Americans suffer cardiac arrest outside of a hospital.
Why the cold feet?
Researchers have not found a specific correlation between helping women and cardiac arrest although evidence suggests most women are given CPR if the rescuer is familiar with the victim. They think the root cause is a fear of touching female strangers.
The research was discussed at the American Heart Association conference in Anaheim, California. University of Pennsylvania lead researcher on the paper, Audrey Blewer, noted the stressful situation of trying to make the woman feel comfortable given the situation.
“It can be kind of daunting thinking about pushing hard and fast on the center of a woman’s chest” Brewer noted.
She added that even CPR training mannequins have male designs that further divide one’s thinking.
Co-author Benjamin Abella thinks rescuers are afraid of touching women’s breasts or removing their clothes. He further stressed the gravity of the situation.
“This is not a time to be squeamish because it’s a life-and-death situation,” he said.
Image Source: Defense.gov
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