Women Less Likely to Receive CPR by Adam Gent

Covert Munkey

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Article by Adam Gent on Linkdin:


A couple of years ago I came home and excitedly told my wife to get upstairs, take her clothes off, lay on the floor and wait for me. She was more than disappointed when I arrived holding a couple of Sharpies and proceeded to draw on her chest.

❗ Women are less likely to receive CPR in the street than men (1-3). Largely due to unfounded fears.

➡️ Breasts
You are not placing your hands on the casualty’s breasts; the heal of your hands will be on the sternum. And you are acting purposely with the intention of saving a life. Anyone who can interpret this any differently needs to give their head a wobble. No one in the UK will ever experience any legal consequence for exposing a woman's breasts in the street and commencing CPR.

➡️ Bras
Bras need to be removed. This is not to do with the metal underwire affecting the defibrillation. Anyone who tells you this needs to read anything published in the last 20 years. Similarly, nipple rings do not need to be removed as the defib pads are not placed over the nipples. They will not cause burns.

Bras are removed to facilitate the placement of the pads. The top right can easily slip under the right shoulder strap but you will struggle to place the lower left pad under the chest strap. Remember, the lower left pad is placed far around the side and high up, almost in the armpit. Bras can be pretty industrial, especially where the cups meet so cut the chest strap on each side and lift the bra out of the way.

➡️ Religion
Some religions forbid men to touch a woman other than their husband, or members of their family. All religions place the value of life as a priority and these rules do not exclude physical contact for the purpose of saving a life if there is no female present to perform the CPR (4, 5). There is less consensus on mouth-to-mouth resuscitation but compression-only CPR is still required and accepted.

Do good things. Make good choices.

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