Fear Of Touching Women’s Chests Can Be A Barrier To Giving CPR: Researchers

  • Nov 14 , 2017

As per a new research, women are less likely than men to get CPR from an unknown person which increases their chances to die. This is due to the fact that people are more cautious while touching a woman’s chest which might be the one of the reasons. The whole study was funded by the Heart Association and the National Institutes of Health and the same study was discussed further at an American Heart Association conference in Anaheim. There were around 20,000 cases from the country which were discussed and examined the gender differences in receiving the heart help at the time of the emergency.

In these cases, 39 per cent of women were supported with the help in public during the cardiac arrest whereas 45 per cent of men were supported by the public which makes them 23 per cent more likely to survive from the arrest. “It can be kind of daunting thinking about pushing hard and fast on the center of a woman’s chest,” said Audrey Blewer, a University of Pennsylvania researcher who led the study.

The people who come for the rescue also are worried about moving the woman’s clothes to get better access to the chest or even touching their breast during the CPR. Benjamin Abella added that doing CPR properly “shouldn’t entail that” as “you put your hands on the sternum, which is the middle of the chest. In theory, you’re touching in between the breasts.”

Photo Courtesy: Upi

Cardiac arrest is a situation in which the heart stops pumping which is due to the rhythm problem and there are around 350,000 people who suffer from the condition each year. In this ratio, around 90 per cent of people die but CPR can double or triple the chances of survival. “This is not a time to be squeamish because it’s a life and death situation,” Abella said. There is not any particular reason behind the cautiousness between the rescuers but there is big gap in the survival ratio between the men and women.

The findings suggest that CPR training may need some improvements. Even that may be subtly biased toward males – practice mannequins are usually male torsos, Blewer said. “All of us are going to have to take a closer look at this” gender issue, said Roger White of the Mayo Clinic, who co-directs the paramedic program for the city of Rochester, Minnesota. He said that he had long worried that large breasts may impede proper placement of defibrillator pads if women need a shock to restore normal heart rhythm.

In the second study it was found that men did not have a gender advantage during the cardiac arrest but suffering from the condition before or during the sex is quite common in men compared to women. Previous studies have looked at sex and heart attacks, but those are caused by a clot suddenly restricting blood flow and people usually have time to get to a hospital and be treated, said Sumeet Chugh, a cardiologist at Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute in Los Angeles.

In Portland, around 4,500 cardiac cases have been registered during the course of 13 years and only 34 were during or within an hour of having sex. In these 34 cases, 34 were men. “It’s a very awkward situation and a very horrifying situation to be one of the two people who survives,” but more would survive if CPR rates were higher, Chugh said.