Magpas Air Ambulance hope to stamp out what they have called "CPR inequality" in women.

Recent years of studies have revealed that in the event of an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest, women are less likely to receive bystander CPR compared to men.

This discrepancy has been attributed to people not recognising the signs of cardiac arrest in women, being embarrassed to touch a woman, and fears of causing a woman harm.

Magpas Air Ambulance want to change this worrying find, by teaching people how to approach this situation during CPR and defibrillator training.

Cambs Times: Magpas Air Ambulance Community CPR Training and Engagement Officer, Nicola CooperMagpas Air Ambulance Community CPR Training and Engagement Officer, Nicola Cooper (Image: Magpas Air Ambulance)

Magpas Air Ambulance’s Community CPR trainer, Nicola Cooper, explains “An important part of the training I provide is dealing with people’s concerns around touching people who are unable to consent, and I hear this more frequently voiced when it comes to performing CPR on women.

"We discuss these concerns during our training sessions. I reiterate that at the point CPR is needed, a patient’s heart has stopped beating and CPR is likely to be their only chance of survival... With every second of hesitation, this chance decreases.

“Women in these groups speak up telling us that if they were found in cardiac arrest, they wouldn’t want a rescuer to have any delay or concerns about starting CPR to save them.

"We also discuss that no one has ever been successfully sued for providing CPR in the UK.”

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Nicola also believes that have more female CPR trainers could be part of the solution:

"Improving understanding around this issue is the responsibility of everyone, but as a female trainer I have been able to build relationships with some groups who might have found being trained by a male a barrier to learning this vitally important skill.” 

This has led to Nicola being able to have open conversations and raise awareness of the importance of CPR, with people who may otherwise feel unable to talk freely on the topic.