Study shows why people hesitate to give CPR, women less likely to receive it

Research shows women are 27 percent less likely than men to have a bystander give them CPR. (WPEC)

When someone collapses in public, bystanders are often too afraid to perform CPR even though it could save someone's life.

A new study by the University of Florida is shedding light on their reasons why.

According to the report in Emergency Medicine Journal, the most common reason people gave for being reluctant to perform CPR is worry about causing additional injuries.

Other concerns included fearing their skills were inadequate and reluctance to remove a female victim’s shirt. In fact, women are 27 percent less likely than men to have a bystander give them CPR.

The statistic about women surprised Vivian Schenk who was just one of several people attending a CPR and first aid certification class at CPR Florida’s West Palm Beach facility. However, she said she does understand the fear of doing something wrong.

“I think humans by nature, we’re just insecure and being in a position where it is actually happening, I can relate to that stress like, ‘Oh my gosh, what if I do something and make it worse?’”

Toby Young, a CPR Florida instructor and Broward paramedic said that’s simply not true, especially when seconds matter most.

“It’s important to realize the person is dead, so you doing nothing, it’s not helping that person out. You cannot cause more harm when they’re dead,” he said. “911 on average takes about six to ten minutes to respond to a call. On average, the data says four to six minutes you become brain damaged so it’s really important to start CPR while 911 is on their way to keep their brain functioning.”

Young said 911 operators will often walk people through the steps over the phone and more times than not when paramedics show up to a scene someone is at least attempting CPR.

Survival decreases about 10 percent for every minute CPR is delayed.

For more information on getting CPR certified, click here.