Does the Sex of a Simulated Patient Affect CPR? Where Do Your Hands Go? [research study]

Does the Sex of a Simulated Patient Affect CPR?” [by Chelsea E. Kramer, Matthew S. Wilkins, Jan M. Davies, Jeff K. Caird, and Gregory M. Hallihan, published in Resuscitation, vol. 86, 2015, pp. 82-87] is a featured study in “Medical Research: Rescuers’ Hands, Ponytail Headache, Elevation for Nursing“, which is a featured article in the special Women (and Men) issue of the magazine—Annals of Improbable Research. The study reports:

While males and females are equally at risk of sudden cardiac arrest (SCA), females are less likely to be resuscitated. Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) may be inhibited by socio-cultural norms about exposing female victims’ chests. Empirically confirming this hypothesis is limited by lack of patient simulators modeling realistic female physiques….

Results— Rescuers removed significantly more clothing from the male than the female, with men removing less clothing from the female. More rescuers’ initial hand placements for CPR were centered between the female’s breasts compared to the male, on which placement was distributed across the chest towards the nipples.