It’s a fact that we have more women than men attending our courses (62% compared with 38% this year). We must encourage more men to learn Basic Life Support methods. Have a look at this New Scientist study from 2019
Women who have a cardiac arrest outside of hospital are less likely to be resuscitated by a bystander and more likely to die than men.
Hanno Tan at the University of Amsterdam and colleagues analysed data from all resuscitation attempts made by emergency services in an area of The Netherlands between 2006 and 2012.
During this time, there were more than 5700 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests, which occur when the heart goes into an irregular rhythm and then stops beating. Heart attacks are one of the most common causes of cardiac arrests.
Around 68 per cent of women who experienced cardiac arrest outside of hospital received a resuscitation attempt from a bystander, compared to 73 per cent of men, the team found.
Of those women who were resuscitated, around 12.5 per cent survived to be discharged from hospital, compared to 20 per cent of men.
“People may be less aware that cardiac arrest can occur as often in women as in men, and the women themselves may not recognise the urgency of their symptoms,” says Tan.
“Women may have symptoms of an impending heart attack that are less easy to interpret, such as fatigue, fainting, vomiting and neck or jaw pain, whereas men are more likely to report typical complaints such as chest pain,” he says.
“This new insight is particularly worrying, given that we already know that women who have suffered a heart attack are less likely to receive the appropriate treatment,” says Sara Askew of the British Heart Foundation. “Now, it appears the case is the same for women who have cardiac arrests.”
“Regardless of gender, the overall survival rate for an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest is shockingly less than one in ten,” says Askew. “Every minute that passes without CPR and defibrillation reduces the chance of survival by up to 10 per cent, which is why knowing how to perform CPR is essential and doing something is always better than doing nothing.”