Study: Women are less likely to get CPR from bystanders

Study: Women are less likely to get CPR from bystanders (ABC7)

It can happen suddenly while walking down the street. Someone falls over and stops breathing.

A new study says if you’re a woman, you’re less likely to survive.

“The first thing you want to do is tap them on the shoulder. Hey, wake up, wake up,” said Capt. Lee Silverman with Montgomery Co. Fire and Rescue Service.

Capt. Silverman says there’s no doubt CPR requires someone to get up close and personal with perhaps a stranger.

“You need to expose to the skin level and as quickly as you can,” said Capt. Silverman.

A study out of the University of Pennsylvania says only 39 percent of women who went into cardiac arrest in a public place were given CPR versus 45 percent of men.

One reason was the fear of touching a woman’s breasts.

“With what’s going on nowadays and what you hear in the media, I believe yea they should be concerned,” said Dr. Muneer Abbas in NW Washington, DC.

The study suggests there could be a change with the mannequins. Capt. Silverman says they were made to be more generic for the training.

“I think part of the issue is making the mannequin so they more resemble a middle-aged to an older female patient,” said Capt. Silverman.

CPR compressions are close but not directly on a man or woman’s breasts. They are in the center of the chest and in line with the patient’s arm pit.

“If you see someone not being able to breathe, you should want to help that person out,” said Ny’Tia Prayther in NW Washington.

Bystanders are often the first responders. Capt. Silverman says the chance of survival for someone suffering from cardiac arrest has increased from nine to 40 percent, thanks in large part to bystander CPR.

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