According to a new study from the University of Pennsylvania and discussed at the American Heart Association conference, women are less likely to receive life-saving CPR when suffering cardiac arrest in public spaces. During a cardiac arrest, the heart stops beating, and although survival rates are not great, CPR can double to triple the odds. The research looked at almost 20,000 cases around the country and concluded that only 39 percent of women were given CPR by strangers as opposed to 45 percent of men, and men were 23 percent more likely to survive. Researchers think that the unwillingness to touch a woman’s chest is one reason.
Study lead Audrey Blewer tells the Associated Press that “it can be kind of daunting thinking about pushing hard and fast on the center of a woman’s chest” and some may fear that they are hurting her or worry about having to remove the woman’s clothing or touching her breasts.