Women are less likely to be resuscitated and survive a cardiac arrest than men


  • Priscilla Lynch
  • Univadis Medical News
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Women who have an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) are less likely to receive resuscitation from bystanders and more likely to die than men, according to a new research in the European Heart Journal.

The population-based cohort study analysed data from all resuscitation attempts made by emergency services between 2006 and 2012 in one province in the Netherlands. A total 5,717 OHCAs were treated during this period, with 28 per cent occurring in women.

Women were less likely than men to receive a resuscitation attempt by a bystander (67.9% versus 72.7%), even when there was someone there to witness the collapse (69.2% versus 73.9%). An important contributory factor was the failure to recognise that women were having a cardiac arrest, leading to delays in calling emergency services and providing resuscitation treatment, the researchers said.

Women who were resuscitated had much lower odds than men for overall survival to hospital discharge (12.5% versus 20.1%). The researchers believe this is largely explained by the lower rate of shockable initial rhythm in women (33.7% versus 52.7%). 

The researchers call for a range of measures to tackle the unequal survival differences between men and women having cardiac arrests, ranging from public awareness campaigns to reorganisation of healthcare systems.