If you saw someone having a cardiac episode, the first thing you would think to do is give them mouth to mouth and CPR, right? According to a new study, women are less likely to get CPR from bystanders in a public place because people might be reluctant to touch their chests.

It sounds very silly, but is a serious issue. 20,000 cases of cardiac arrest were studied and in them, 39 percent of women who had heart attacks in public places received CPR compared to 45 percent of men. As a result, men were 23 percent more likely to survive them. The results of this study were presented and discussed at the American Heart Association conference in Anaheim, California. The study was funded by the National Institutes of Health and the AHA.

“It can be kind of daunting thinking about pushing hard and fast on the center of a woman’s chest,” said Audrey Blewer, a University of Pennsylvania researcher who led the study, according to the Associated Press. In the end, the research was inconclusive as to why rescuers were less likely to help women, but since there was no difference in CPR rates in situations at home in these situations, this is the most likely explanation.

CPR training is often done on male test dummies, not female, which may also subtlely explain some of the cause and effect in these situations.

“This is not a time to be squeamish because it’s a life-and-death situation,” University of Pennsylvania researcher Benjamin Abella said, relaying the results of a separate study.

If someone is suffering from a cardiac episode out in public, give them CPR if you can, no matter whether they are male or female. Women won’t mind if you touch their chests if you end up saving their life.

[Washington Post/The Verge]

About Matt Lichtenstadter

Recent Maryland graduate. I've written for many sites including World Soccer Talk, GianlucaDiMarzio.com, Testudo Times, Yahoo's Puck Daddy Blog and more. Houndstooth is still cool, at least to me. Follow me @MattsMusings1 on Twitter, e-mail me about life and potential jobs at matthewaaron9 at Yahoo dot com.