Women are less likely to receive CPR than men in public places, according to a new study.
Researchers found that bystanders are less likely to give potentially lifesaving cardiopulmonary resuscitation, or CPR, to women -particularly if the emergency takes place in a public area.
Older people, especially older men, are less likely to receive CPR in private locations, according to the findings.
The research team urged people to learn how to perform CPR and to give it without hesitation to anyone who needs it, regardless of gender, age or location.
“In an emergency when someone is unconscious and not breathing properly, in addition to calling an ambulance, bystanders should give CPR,” said Dr. Alexis Cournoyer, of Montreal Sacred Heart Hospital in Canada.
“This will give the patient a much better chance of survival and recovery.”
Dr. Sylvie Cossette, of Montreal Heart Institute research center, added: “We carried out this study to try to uncover factors that might discourage people from delivering CPR, including any factors that might deter people from giving CPR to a woman.”
The researchers used records of cardiac arrests that happened outside of hospitals in Canada and the US between 2005 and 2015, including a total of 39,391 patients with an average age of 67.
They looked at whether or not a bystander performed CPR, where the emergency took place, and the age and gender of the patient.
They found that just over half of patients received CPR from a bystander (54 percent).
Overall, women (52 percent) were slightly less likely to be given CPR than men (55 percent).
When the researchers looked only at cardiac arrests that happened in a public place, such as in the street, the difference was greater: 61 percent of women compared to 68 percent of men.
Lower rates of CPR in public were found for women – regardless of their age, according to the research team.
When they looked at cardiac arrests that happened in a private setting, such as a house, the figures indicated that with every 10-year increase in age, men were around nine percent less likely to be given CPR.
For women having a cardiac arrest in a private setting the chances of receiving CPR were around three per cent lower with every 10-year increase in age.
“Our study shows that women experiencing a cardiac arrest are less likely to get the CPR they need compared to men, especially if the emergency happens in public,” said Dr. Cournoyer.
“We don’t know why this is the case. It could be that people are worried about hurting or touching women, or that they think a woman is less likely to be having a cardiac arrest.
“We wondered if this imbalance would be even worse in younger women, because bystanders may worry even more about physical contact without consent, but this was not the case.”
Dr. Cossette added: “We would like to study this issue in greater detail to understand what lies behind the difference.
“This could help us make sure that anyone who needs CPR gets it, regardless of gender, age or location.”
Dr. Cossette is due to present the findings at the European Emergency Medicine Congress in Barcelona, Spain, today [MON].
Professor Youri Yordanov, Chair of the EUSEM 2023 abstract committee, said: “CPR saves lives, but sadly not everyone who suffers a cardiac arrest will get the CPR they need.
“This study gives us some clues about why that’s the case.”
Yordanov added: “A cardiac arrest can happen anytime and anywhere, so we all need to learn CPR and to be willing to perform it without hesitation.”
Produced in association with SWNS Talker
Edited by Judy J. Rotich and Newsdesk Manager