New Study Increases Understanding of Why Women Receive Less Bystander CPR Than Men
“Until we address public concerns and CPR becomes normalized, not sexualized, it is likely women will continue to receive less bystander CPR and suffer worse of health outcomes,”Ludeman Center Jun 3, 2019
A new national study led by Dr. Sarah M. Perman, Ludeman Center researcher in the Department of Emergency Medicine at CU Anschutz School Medicine is the first to explore public perceptions of why community bystanders may not administer Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) to an unresponsive women in cardiac arrest. Study co-authors are Shelby K. Shelton, Christopher Knoepke, Kathryn Rappaport, Daniel D. Matlock, Kathleen Adelgais, Edward P. Havranek, and Stacie L. Daugherty.
Women who responded to the survey identified fear of inappropriate touching as the greatest inhibitor to providing CPR, while men identified fear of sexual assault or harassment accusations. The study is based on a national survey of over 500 respondents.
According to National Heart Association data, nearly 45% of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest victims survived when bystander CPR was administered.
“Until we address public concerns and CPR becomes normalized, not sexualized, it is likely women will continue to receive less bystander CPR and suffer worse of health outcomes.” Dr. Perman said.
The study suggests that public concern for a charge of sexual assault or sexual harassment could be addressed in a similar manner to how “Good Samaritan Laws” target the fear of causing injury in a medical emergency. Another suggestion is more education to increase understanding of cardiac arrest in women and the importance of bystanders administering CPR to women, such as the new, moving video from the American Heart Association (link can be found on cwhr.org). Watching the video and sharing information with your network can help to save lives.