Men Are Now Afraid To Give Women CPR In Case They’re Accused Of Sexual Assault

February 4, 2019 | No Comments » | Topics: Story

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(photo: @rawpixel)

Women suffering heart attacks are less likely to receive CPR from members of the public over fears they could be charged with sexual assault, new research suggests.

In the wake of the #MeToo movement researchers asked dozens of people – many of whom were trained in first aid – why they might be unwilling to give life-saving heart massage to females.

Several themes emerged, including fears that they would be accused of inappropriate touching or assault, or concerns that women were more likely to over-dramatise, or fake an incident.

One study confirmed that real-world phenomenon in a controlled setting: It found that even in “virtual reality” simulations, participants were less likely to perform CPR when the virtual victim was female, versus male.

People performed CPR on 65 percent of male victims, but only 54 percent of females.

A separate study, which surveyed 54 adults, turned up some possible explanations.

Respondents said bystanders may worry about hurting a woman while doing CPR chest compressions — or fear being accused of sexual assault. Some said people also might believe women’s breasts get in the way of CPR.

The respondents also cited a long-standing misconception: Women are less likely to have heart problems than men.

But the reality is that heart disease is the leading killer of U.S. women and men alike, according to government figures.

More than 350,000 cardiac arrests occur outside hospitals in the United States each year, according to the American Heat Association. While the survival rate is less than 12 percent, CPR can double or triple a victim’s odds of surviving.

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