Bystander Resuscitation Attempted Less Often for Women in Cardiac Arrest

Women have half the chance of initial shockable rhythm, chances of survival to discharge compared with men

WEDNESDAY, May 22, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- In out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA), women are less often resuscitated than men, and they have lower survival rates with resuscitation, according to a study published online May 21 in the European Heart Journal.

Marieke T. Blom, Ph.D., from Amsterdam UMC, and colleagues performed a population-based cohort study examining all emergency medical service (EMS)-treated resuscitation attempts in one province of the Netherlands from 2006 to 2012. The authors calculated the correlations between sex and chance of a resuscitation attempt, shockable initial rhythm (SIR), and outcomes.

The researchers identified 5,717 EMS-treated OHCAs (28.0 percent women). Compared with men, women with OHCA were less likely to receive a resuscitation attempt by a bystander (67.9 versus 72.7 percent), even when the OHCA was witnessed (69.2 versus 73.9 percent). Compared with men, women who were resuscitated had lower odds of overall survival to hospital discharge, survival from OHCA to hospital admission, and survival from hospital admission to discharge (odds ratios, 0.57, 0.88, and 0.49, respectively). These findings were attributed to a lower SIR rate in women (33.7 versus 52.7 percent). Female sex remained independently associated with lower SIR rate after adjustment for resuscitation parameters.

"To close the survival gap between sexes, further research is needed to resolve the (biological) causes for lower SIR rates in women, and to determine how OHCA in women can be earlier recognized, and how prehospital treatments must be modified," the authors write.

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