Bystanders less likely to help a woman who suffers heart attack

Washington: Chances of death for women who suffer cardiac arrest outside a hospital are more compared to men as they are less likely to be resuscitated by bystanders, a new study claims. A study published in the journal, ‘European Heart Journal’, found that people did not recognise women who collapsed were having a cardiac arrest, leading to delays in calling the emergency services and delays in providing resuscitation treatment.

Cardiac arrest occurs when the heart goes into an irregular rhythm and then stops beating completely. It is different from a heart attack (or myocardial infarction). Dr Hanno Tan, the lead researcher said, “We found that the worse outcome in women is largely attributable to the fact that women had about half the chance of having a shockable initial rhythm compared to men.”

The term shockable initial rhythm is the heart rhythm recorded when someone with cardiac arrest is connected to an electrocardiogram machine; it is very fast (often more than 300 beats a minute) and chaotic. Dr Tan and his team analysed data from all revival attempts made by emergency services between 2006 to 2012 in the Netherlands.

They identified 5717 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests treated during this period, 28 per cent of which occurred in women. The researchers also found that women were less likely than men to receive a resuscitation attempt by a bystander (68 per cent versus 73 per cent) even when there was someone there to witness the collapse (69 per cent versus 74 per cent ).

Survival from the time of the cardiac arrest to admission to hospital was lower in women (34 per cent versus 37 per cent), and women were less likely to survive from admission to discharge (37 per cent versus 55 per cent). Overall, the chances of women surviving to be discharged from the hospital were about half that of men (12.5 per cent versus 20 per cent). —ANI

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