Previous research has shown women who suffer out-of-hospital cardiac arrest receive CPR less frequently than men, said Sarah M. Perman, M.D., M.S.C.E., assistant professor of Emergency Medicine at the University of Colorado School of Medicine in Denver and lead author on the survey study.
In a new survey (Poster Presentation 198) Colorado researchers asked 54 people online to explain, with no word limit, why women might be less likely to get CPR when they collapse in public. In the replies, the team identified four themes:
- Potentially inappropriate touching or exposure;
- Fear of being accused of sexual assault;
- Fear of causing physical injury;
- Poor recognition of women in cardiac arrest — specifically a perception that women are less likely to have heart problems, or may be overdramatizing or “faking” an incident; or
- The misconception that breasts make CPR more challenging.
The team’s findings showed that in their descriptive study, participants in their cohort performed CPR or used an AED on virtual-reality female victims less than on virtual male victims.