Abstract P66: Differences in Chest Compressions Provided to Male and Female Victims of Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest
Background: Prehospital healthcare providers may fear that they will injure patients while performing manual chest compressions (CC). The provider’s perception of a patient’s fragility may influence the aggressiveness with which he/she performs CC. As a consequence, EMS personnel may provide CC of differing forcefulness when treating male versus female patients. The objective of the present study was to compare the depth of CC provided to male and female patients. A secondary objective was to determine whether there were gender differences in delays and interruptions in CC.
Methods: Data were recorded from the treatment of 203 out-of-hospital cardiac arrest patients (60 female and 143 male) using ZOLL AED Plus devices, which are capable of recording CC depth, shock timing, and CC timing. Mood’s median statistical test was used to compare the proportions of females vs. males receiving less than median CC depth during pre-shock and post-shock sets of CC, less than median CC start delay (time to CC after pad placement), and less than median pre-shock and post-shock CC interruption times. A total of 420 shocks (n=307 for male, n=103 for female) were included in the analysis.
Results: 68% females vs. 45% of males received less than the median pre-shock CC depth of 1.74 in (p=0.002). 58% females vs. 47% of males received less than the median post-shock CC depth of 1.77 in (p=0.07). For delay in starting CC after pad placement, 65% of females vs. 45% of males had below the median delay of 12.95 sec (p<0.0001) and for CC interruption time prior to a shock, 61% females vs. 46% of males had below the median interruption time of 22.87 sec (p=0.009).
Conclusions: Prehospital healthcare providers are more likely to perform CC of lower depth when treating female compared with male patients, perhaps due to fear of injuring female patients. Although lower depth of CC could negatively impact resuscitation outcome for females, shorter delays in beginning CC and shorter pre-shock interruptions could alternatively improve outcome for female patients.