Women suffering cardiac arrest in public are less likely to get CPR from strangers than men. That's the finding of a new study out of the University of Pennsylvania that looked at 19-thousand cases of cardiac arrest that happened outside a hospital. Researchers found that about 45% of men received CPR compared with 39% of women.
What gives? Researchers speculate bystanders might be hesitant to touch a strange woman's breasts in public (which is silly considering hands would only touch the sternum – or center of the chest). But there’s also another possibility. "It can be kind of daunting thinking about pushing hard and fast on the center of a woman's chest," says Audrey Blewer, who led the study. “And some people may fear they are hurting her.”
What gives them that notion? Women who suffer cardiac arrest in the home, for instance, are just as likely as men to receive CPR. In the end, why should people get over their skeevies and perform the procedure? You can literally double a person’s chance of survival. UPenn’s Dr. Benjamin Abella notes, “This is not a time to be squeamish because it's a life and death situation.”