Women Who Suffer From Cardiac Arrest In Public Less Likely To Get CPR From Bystanders: Study


Bystanders are more likely to attempt CPR to a person who suddenly had cardiac arrest if that person is a man, findings of a new study have revealed.

Gender Discrepancy In Receiving Bystander CPR

In a new research presented at the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions on Sunday, Nov. 12, researchers looked at the data of more than 19,000 individuals who had an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest to examine gender difference when it comes to receiving cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).

They found that men are more likely than women to receive bystander CPR, at least in public. Forty-five percent of men who had cardiac arrest in public received bystander CPR and only 39 percent of the women received the same help. The researchers also found that men had 23 percent better chances of survival than women after receiving CPR from someone in public.

While there appears to be gender discrepancy when receiving CPR from a stranger in public, the researchers said that gender appears to have a smaller role when it comes to receiving CPR in the home, where the rescuer most likely knows the person in distress. Researchers found that about 35 percent of women received in-home CPR, which is not significantly lagging behind the 36 percent of men who received CPR at home.

Physical Barriers

The findings suggest that physical barriers may be making people uncomfortable about giving CPR to a woman whom they do not know, albeit more work is needed to clearly pinpoint the cause.

Study author Audrey Blewer, from Penn Medicine's Center for Resuscitation Science, said that identifying the gender discrepancy when it comes to getting CPR from bystanders can help health experts come up with new ways to train and educate the public on why, when, and how to administer bystander CPR, which may potentially help save more lives.

"CPR involves pushing on the chest so that could make people less certain whether they can or should do CPR in public on women," Blewer said. "Studies have shown that gender disparities exist in cardiovascular disease, as well as response to time-sensitive conditions. To our knowledge, no study has examined whether gender variation exists with receipt of layperson bystander CPR."

Cardiac Arrest

Cardiac arrest happens when the heart suddenly stops pumping, often because of a rhythm problem. In the United States, more than 350,000 people suffer from cardiac arrest in settings other than a hospital. Ninety percent of those who suffer from cardiac arrest die but CPR can double and even triple the odds of survival.

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