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Home » Cardiology » Women have lower chances than men to be resuscitated

Joris Henderikx

CEO, Prestan Europe BV

Many people hesitate to perform CPR on female anatomy or choose not to perform CPR at all, giving women a lower chance of survival during out-of-hospital cardiac arrest.

Every second counts when someone has suffered cardiac arrest and needs CPR. There are shocking statistics along with several myths and fears summarised by the American Heart Association Go Red for Women Movement. This includes the fear of being accused of inappropriate touching, causing physical injury and getting sued. Shockingly, perceptions that women over-dramatise incidents or are less likely to have heart problems discourage people from performing CPR as well.  

The issues regarding female CPR also come forward in European countries. There is evidence to support that in several EU countries, women have a smaller chance to be resuscitated than men. The reasoning behind these facts is still being investigated. This does not eliminate the fact that female symptoms often present differently than men. Women usually don’t have the classic chest pain but can get neck or jaw pain, vomit or faint. This could cause bystanders to hesitate and delay the start of CPR treatment.   

Limiting CPR training 

Those who have been trained to perform CPR have learned on a flat-chested manikin. Current industry guidelines don’t specifically require CPR training to be conducted on female anatomy. This contributes to shocking statistics on the lack of bystander CPR on females.  

Training on flat-chested manikins is limiting because students have no firsthand training experience if the victim requiring CPR is a female or even an overweight male victim with breasts. Every second counts when CPR is needed, and there is no time for hesitation or questioning one’s skills or hand placement. 

Every second counts when CPR is needed, and there is no time for hesitation.

Better learning tools 

A new PRESTAN Female AccessoryTM has been designed to build confidence in CPR training, encourage dialogue and break down barriers, eliminate gender bias in CPR administration and improve CPR survival rates in women. It is available in both medium and dark skin tones and can be paired with our CPR training shirts for a full, real-life scenario training experience. 

It is designed to securely fit on the PRESTAN Professional Adult, Professional Adult Series 2000 and Ultralite® Manikins by simply clipping the accessory onto each side of the manikin torso.  

This female accessory provides an opportunity for CPR training instructors to educate, properly train and answer any questions students may have when learning CPR on the female anatomy. It allows them to ask questions, voice their concerns and talk through any fears they may have before being in a real-life scenario with a female cardiac arrest victim. 

How is it different? 

The new PRESTAN female accessory is the first physical product available for purchase that represents the female anatomy in CPR training. It has been designed to exclusively fit our training manikins and is currently patent pending.  

Changing misconceptions 

Most people are very surprised to hear that women receive bystander CPR less often than men. Once they have been made aware of the shocking statistics, many individuals immediately begin to ask: how would I save my mother, grandmother or daughter — and many women ask: how would someone save me? 

PRESTAN is committed to building confidence in CPR training instructors and their students. We want bystanders to be prepared and feel comfortable performing CPR on all cardiac arrest victims, including women. There was a clear product gap in the Basic Life Support (BLS) market, and we are proud to be the first CPR training manikin provider to offer a product solution to this long-standing problem.  

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