Women Receive CPR Less Often Than Men on onebeatcpr.com

Women Receive CPR Less Often Than Men

A study reveals more women die from cardiac arrest – because bystanders may be afraid of performing CPR

A recent study sponsored by the American Heart Association (AHA) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) looked at almost 20,000 cases of cardiac arrest. The study found that only 39% of women experiencing cardiac arrest in public were given CPR, whereas 45% of men received it.

The men studied were 23% more likely to survive.

Women and heart disease

Heart attacks and cardiac arrest are sometimes thought of as a male issue, but women suffer from these conditions and heart disease overall at alarming rates:

  • “Heart disease is the leading cause of death of American women, killing more than a third of them.”
  • “More than 200,000 women die each year from heart attacks – five times as many women as breast cancer.”
  • “More than 159,000 women die each year of congestive heart failure, accounting for 56.3% of all heart failure deaths.”

These numbers are a bit lower but similar in scope to the numbers for men. So, why the disparity in the number of female lives saved thanks to CPR?

Fear of rendering aid

While the study shows that strangers are more willing to help men experiencing cardiac arrest than women, “no gender difference was apparent in CPR rates for people who had taken ill at home, where a rescuer is more likely to know the person needing help.”

Some of the reasons cited:

  • “’It can be kind of daunting thinking about pushing hard and fast on the center of a woman’s chest’ making some people fearful of hurting the woman,’ said Audrey Blewer, a University of Pennsylvania researcher who led the study. …
  • Another study leader, Dr. Benjamin Abella, said that bystanders are worried about moving a woman’s clothes or touching her breasts, despite the fact that if you administer CPR in the correct manner, you wouldn’t even need to do this.”

There is also fear about being held legally liable for rendering aid that could harm someone, though as we’ve covered in a previous blog, every state has Good Samaritan laws on the books that protect people trying to save a life. In some states, however, you do need to be certified in CPR to have protection under these laws.

What about mouth-to-mouth resuscitation?

When most of us think of CPR, we think of pressing on the chest and mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. But The American Heart Association has recently revised CPR procedures to make rescue breathing optional when rendering care to adults or teens. This “hands-only CPR” is simple and it works:

  • A study led by Dr. Ken Nagao at Tokyo’s Surugadai Nihon University Hospital examined the implications of this failure to respond. Cardiac arrest victims on whom no CPR was applied (approximately 70% of 4,068 incidents) were not only far less likely to survive, their chances of suffering brain damage from the incident increased if they did pull through.
  • 18% of the victims in the study received traditional CPR that included mouth-to-mouth. Those patients saw an improved survival and recovery rate. 11% of those in the study had the chest-compression-only technique applied – and they were 2.2 times less likely to experience brain damage than those who didn’t receive any CPR at all.
  • Hands-only CPR cannot be used on small children and infants, nor individuals who have been found unconscious or definitively suffered the respiratory failure that leads to cardiac arrest. For greater detail, read our blog: “Hands-Only CPR vs. Traditional CPR.”

A 3-hour class gets you certified

Three hours is all it takes to become CPR and AED certified. This is a skill that you can carry with you the rest of your life and you’ll be prepared to take life-saving action on a moment’s notice – on men, women, or children – whether they are strangers or loved ones.

Help reverse the statistics and learn to save lives equally.

One Beat CPR+AED offers American Heart Association-certified CPR and AED courses to South Florida businesses, schools, medical professionals, families, and individuals. Call 1-800-ONE-BEAT for the latest class schedule, or connect with us online.

More Insight on "Hands-Only CPR” on onebeatcpr.com

More Insight on “Hands-Only CPR”

Hands-only CPR can be performed by anyone and learned in as little as a minute – and alleviates some concerns about providing aid

Most of us wouldn’t hesitate to help a person in distress. It’s human nature. We also would do it because we hope that a stranger would do the same for us.

There are some obstacles for some people, however. Take performing CPR, for example. One of the biggest concerns registered by individuals – especially those who haven’t undergone training – is that they’ll do it incorrectly and cause more harm than good. Others are worried about performing the mouth-to-mouth (rescue breathing) component on a stranger.

There’s encouraging news all the way around, though. The American Heart Association now recommends what’s known as “hands-only CPR” in many situations.

Voicing their fears

In a 2016 survey, the AHA asked respondents why they didn’t perform CPR on someone in cardiac arrest despite having the opportunity. The top reason was fear of legal consequences if something went wrong, shared by 31%. The other reasons:

  • 28% said their skills weren’t up to date
  • 28% said they were afraid they would hurt the person
  • 24% said that CPR is too complicated
  • 18% said they just didn’t feel confident performing the steps
  • 16% said they had no training
  • 14% said they didn’t want to give the rescue breaths
  • 14% said they didn’t believe it would make a difference

If you look at these statistics, you see that many people refrain simply because they’re unsure – whether it’s lack of training, or even being unsure of whether it will help. This is why it’s so important to know about hands-only CPR.

The benefit of hands-only CPR

Hands-only CPR is CPR without rescue breaths. The AHA recommends it is because it’s very easy to do, it always some of the concerns people have about performing CPR, and it’s effective.

There are only two steps, and you don’t need to have formal training in order to perform hands-only CPR on someone – though training is beneficial. Many individuals can perform this life-saving act after watching a short instructional video online:

You’ll learn the two easy steps:

  1. Call 911 to summon emergency help
  2. Push hard and fast in the center of the chest. The minimum rate you should push is 100 beats per minute. How fast is that? Match the beat of the Bee Gees’ classic song “Stayin’ Alive” and you’ve got it.

The AHA says that hands-only CPR performed in the first few minutes of cardiac arrest for an adult victim has been shown to be as effective as CPR with breaths. That said, full CPR still needs to be done in several cases, including when the victim has been found unconscious for an unknown amount of time, when you know someone has had respiratory failure leading to cardiac arrest, or for pre-teen children or infants.

The key here is oxygen; hands-only CPR works when a victim has enough of it left. When oxygen levels are depleted, rescue breathing is required.

People who have had official CPR training are more likely to provide better chest compressions, but any attempt at CPR is usually better than none at all. The AHA observes that official training and certification can make you more confident about your life-saving skills – especially for infants, children, victims of drowning, or people who collapse due to breathing problems – because you’re also able to administer rescue breaths.

If you know nothing about CPR, you can learn enough to save a life by watching this video. Get complete training and certification, however, for far better and more comprehensive life-saving skills.

How New Tech May Be Used to Help Save Lives on onebeatcpr.com

How New Tech May Be Used to Help Save Lives

Five developments that could prove to be invaluable

Technology evolves at such a quick pace that often something seen as innovative one day is viewed as antiquated the next month. And while some tech seems to be superfluous (do we really need to upgrade our phones every year?), other new inventions can literally be lifesavers. Here are some of the latest developments in the world of CPR and first aid:


If there has been one piece of new technology that’s taken the world by storm in recent years, it is drones. In addition to hobbyists, many companies are starting to take advantage of drones, and we may soon see them in response to medical emergencies.

In Sweden, experiments were conducted that involved sending drones equipped with AEDs to 18 sites where people had cardiac arrests. Researchers found that it took about 20 minutes for EMS workers to arrive on the scene after getting a call. With the drones, it was only about five minutes.

Augmented reality

Augmented reality (AR) is another new tech that has gotten a lot of buzzes lately, especially when it comes to games. But AR could also be instrumental for CPR training. The American Heart Association has developed an AR app that first surveys the area to find a good location to perform CPR. It then walks through the necessary steps for hands-only CPR, giving players scores for the rate and depth of chest compressions.

Automated CPR

In order to keep someone alive who is experiencing cardiac arrest, chest compressions have to be continuous. But when the victim needs to be moved or perhaps an EMS worker takes over for a bystander, they can be interrupted. This is why machines utilizing a compression band or piston have been developed that administer chest compressions mechanically.

Mobile EKG

An electrocardiogram (EKG) is an excellent way to monitor heart health, but it would be impossible for people to walk around with an EKG machine. But, thanks to Kardia, they don’t have to.

Touted as “the world’s first medical-grade 30-second EKG,” this is a small card outfitted with sensors that can be linked to a mobile device. In addition to taking their own EKG, the results can be transmitted to a doctor immediately. Kardia can also identify early warnings signs of a heart attack.

Smart first aid kit

In the event of some sort of medical emergency at home or on the job, just finding the first aid kit can be a challenge. But when you do track it down, you may not have any idea what’s in there or where the important items at the moment are. This was the thought process behind the GALE smart first aid kit.

Not only are their well-organized compartments for items to help with things like cuts, burns, and bone fractures, users can get quick digital instructions on what to do. If need be, GALE can also put someone in touch with a medical professional via a video call.

All of this new tech is exciting, but it is not yet widely used and probably won’t be for a while. Until the day these advances are mainstream, it’s best to be proactive. Take a CPR class and learn how to use an AED – and be prepared to save a life now.

Check out our class schedules here, and if you have any questions, please contact us.

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