Tamil Brahmins
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2010

    Women are less likely to receive CPR than men

    0 Not allowed!
    Cardiopulmonary resuscitation is a word hard to pronounce, difficult to spell, and even more difficult to ingrain in people’s minds. It is estimated that 98% of Indians don’t know about CPR. Most of the times CPR is used as a pretext to introduce mouth to mouth breathing, invoking humour and romance in the movies, where one of the lead pair of actors is seen saving the other after a brave rescue from drowning. The importance of the act and the technical nature of performing it go for a toss. In real life, things are very different.

    CPR is not only effective while saving someone from drowning. It is also the most vital first aid that can be offered to anyone who is fainting or has suffered cardiac arrest. On average 3,10,000 Americans die every year owing to cardiac arrest, and those who receive hands-on CPR have twice to thrice higher chances of surviving. In India due to the lack of data it gets difficult to drive the point home similarly. But wait! India happens to be the capital of cardiac diseases, diabetes and obesity. The fact that our nation is scoring high on the major factors that lead to cardiac arrest suggests that mortality due to cardiac deaths would be one of the highest here as well.

    CPR is fairly easy to administer and can be done by anybody, till professional help arrives. But the state of ignorance is huge. People who are willing to give CPR in public places often guess their way through the technique and hope it works. Even those who know how to give CPR do not necessarily understand when to give it. They may easily miss the signs of cardiac arrest. They need to know that mouth to mouth breathing is not considered an essential part of CPR anymore. In fact the focus has shifted to only hard pressing on the chest.

    In movies and TV programmes, which influence people far more easily than the educational leaflets promoting CPR, we so often see the person administering CPR hesitate, and the person receiving it become self-conscious on regaining consciousness. Even as we shift the focus from mouth to mouth breathing to chest compression, we need to accept that there is hesitation, and we need to know why.

    Research has shown that women are less likely to receive CPR than men – due to the gender bias prevailing in society. Public spaces in India are still dominated by men. The differently formed chest of women and various notions attached to it makes men hesitate in administering CPR to women. There is the fear of being misunderstood, of the heavy compression of a woman’s chest being misjudged by the bystanders.


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