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Lack of CPR due to Breasts


Unsplash - CPR practise on flat chested dummy

The so-called Womanikin is an attachment for flat-chested CPR dummies that aims to change the finding that women are 27% less likely than men to receive CPR if they suffer from a cardiac arrest in public. Researchers suspect bystanders' reluctance to touch the chest of a woman they don't know might play a role.


The most recent study that found that women are 27% less likely than men to receive CPR if they suffer from a cardiac arrest in public was published in the journal Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes in 2018. The study, conducted by researchers at the University of Pennsylvania, analyzed data from over 200,000 people who had out-of-hospital cardiac arrests. The researchers found that women were 27% less likely than men to receive bystander CPR and that this difference was not explained by other factors such as age, race, or location.


The study's findings suggest that there are still significant gender disparities in how cardiac arrest is treated. These disparities can majorly impact survival rates, as CPR can double or triple a person's chances of survival if it is started immediately. The study's researchers called for more education and awareness about the importance of bystander CPR for women to help close this gender gap.


The results of the study suggest that women are less likely to receive CPR than men if they suffer from a cardiac arrest in public. This is likely due to a number of factors, including:

  • Gender stereotypes: People may be more likely to think that men are having a heart attack than women, and therefore be more likely to call for help or perform CPR.

  • Fear of being accused of sexual assault: Some people may be reluctant to touch a woman's chest, even in an emergency situation, for fear of being accused of sexual assault.

  • Lack of training: People may not be trained in how to perform CPR on women, or they may not be aware that the techniques are different than for men.

The impact of this gender disparity is significant. CPR can double or triple a person's chances of survival if it is started immediately, so women who do not receive CPR are more likely to die. This is a major public health issue that needs to be addressed.

There are a number of things that can be done to close this gender gap, including:

  • Educating the public about the importance of bystander CPR for women. This includes teaching people how to perform CPR on women and dispelling any myths or stereotypes about women and heart attacks.

  • Providing more training opportunities for people to learn how to perform CPR on women. This could be done through CPR classes, online resources, or even just making sure that CPR dummies are available in a variety of sizes and shapes.

  • Changing the way that we talk about heart attacks. We need to start talking about heart attacks as a health issue that affects women just as much as men. This will help to break down gender stereotypes and make people more likely to recognize the signs of a heart attack in a woman.

By taking these steps, we can help to ensure that women who suffer from a cardiac arrest in public are just as likely to receive CPR as men. This will save lives and help to close the gender gap in survival rates.


If you face any obstacles in your work, related to this topic or other gender-related topics feel free to contact me at cynthiafortlage@cynthiafortlage.com for expert consulting and advice. I am always ready to offer my assistance.

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