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CPR Study: women less likely to get life-saving treatment

CPR Study: women less likely to get life-saving treatment

A new study reveals that women are less likely than men to get CPR from a bystander.

Researchers want to know whether it's because people are afraid to touch a woman's chest, or even take her off shirt.

Research partly funded by the American Heart Association reveals that In public settings, 45-percent of men got CPR, compared to 39-percent of women, and that men were 23-percent more likely to survive.

While CPR is typically taught on a bare chest, it doesn't have to be administered that way, according to Doctor Michael Dailey with the Department of Emergency Medicine at Albany Medical College.

He says that this study might change some ways they teach. He is Chair of Regional Community of Emergency Medicine Physicians and they guide EMS. He says over the next few months they will look at this study and visit how it can impact what they teach at 9-1-1 centers.

He says prior to the study they talked about issues that impacted bystander CPR. He says it has increased over the past ten years, and that they are always looking to improve how people participate in CPR.

Dr. Dailey says the first thing you should do is call 9-1-1 and someone will guide you through compressions.

Using data from the Resuscitation Outcomes Consortium, a network of regional clinical centers in the United States and Canada studying out-of-hospital treatments of cardiac arrest and trauma, researchers analyzed 19,331 cardiac events in the home and in public.

They found:

• Overall, bystanders administered CPR in 37 percent of cardiac events in varied locations.

• 35 percent of women and 36 percent of men received CPR in the home, showing no significant difference in the likelihood of one gender getting assistance over the other in this setting.

• In public settings, 45 percent of men got assistance compared to 39 percent of women.

• Men were 1.23 times more likely to receive bystander CPR in public settings, and they had 23 percent increased odds of survival compared to women.

“CPR involves pushing on the chest so that could make people less certain whether they can or should do CPR in public on women,” said Audrey Blewer, M.P.H., the study’s first author and assistant director for educational programs at the Center for Resuscitation Science at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. These findings identify a gap in bystander CPR delivery that can help improve future messaging and training to lay responders, health care providers and dispatchers.

“We’re only beginning to understand how to deliver CPR in public, although it's been around for 50 years,” said Benjamin Abella, M.D., M.Phil., the study’s senior author and director of Penn’s Center for Resuscitation Science. “Our work highlights the fact that there's still so much to learn about who learns CPR, who delivers CPR and how best to train people to respond to emergencies.”

According to the American Heart Association, over 350,000 cardiac arrests occur outside of the hospital each year. CPR, especially if administered immediately after cardiac arrest, can double or triple a person’s chance of survival. About 90 percent of people who experience an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest die.

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