Image via Getty.
Image via Getty.

A new study indicates that people with breasts are more likely to die in a situation where they might survive if given CPR, because folks are afraid to touch their chest area.


A study conducted by researchers of 20,000 cases of heart attacks around the country shows a disturbing trend in how men and women are treated by bystanders, according to their perceived gender. Stat News reports that 45 percent of men who go into cardiac arrest in a public place were given CPR, versus 39 percent of women. Men were 23 percent more likely to survive.

“It can be kind of daunting thinking about pushing hard and fast on the center of a woman’s chest” and some people may fear they are hurting her, said Audrey Blewer, a University of Pennsylvania researcher who led the study.


Another study leader, Dr. Benjamin Abella, of UPenn, said rescuers are afraid to move a woman’s clothes or touch her breasts, though if you are administering CPR properly, you wouldn’t. You should be pushing in between the meaty stuff, directly against the sternum.

“This is not a time to be squeamish because it’s a life and death situation,” Abella said.

The findings are pushing officials to reconsider how CPR trainings are taught, including the far more common use of a male torso mannequin for demonstrations, as well as the useful placement of defibrillator pads on “large breasts.” Also, if you don’t have boobs, you should know that they kind of slide towards the armpits when you’re lying down, leaving plenty of room for restarting someone’s heart/resting a plate of cheese. Insider secret.

One other note from the study: men are more likely to go into cardiac arrest after sex. So there’s that.

Contributing Writer, writing my first book for the Dial Press called The Lonely Hunter, follow me on Twitter @alutkin

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