It’s true, females perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation less efficiently than their male counterparts! The intriguing news comes on the back of a study carried out by researchers at the University of Basel and University Hospital Basel.
CPR: administered until a defibrillator is used in the event of SCA
Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) is a huge issue, particularly at sea: it kills over 3 million people every year, making it the world’s leading cause of death. SCA can affect anyone, anywhere, at any time and a victim’s only chance of survival is rapid defibrillation. Survival rates drop by 10% with every minute that passes during a SCA too, so each second is critical. Typically, CPR is administered to restore partial flow of oxygenated blood to the brain and heart until a shock can be delivered using a defibrillator.
Strong leadership is key to effective CPR
Previous studies have proven that quick and strong leadership communication increases the chance of a victim surviving and as a result of this, students are now taught these vital skills during their medical training. 108 women and men took part in the recent study and a research team documented and analysed performance during a simulated cardiac arrest scenario. The research team focused on uninterrupted CPR time within the first three minutes after the onset of a cardiac arrest, also recording how frequently the participants made clear leadership statements, like verbal commands to assign tasks, or clarify how something should be done.
Females showed less ‘hands-on time’ in CPR than males
So, what were the results? Well, in comparison with males, females carried out less hands-on CPR and overall took longer to start. Females showed less leadership communication compared with the males too. Even in mixed teams, women made significantly fewer clear leadership statements than men.
Preparation for emergency situations is key
The results show that there is an important difference between male and female rescuers. Although female medical students possessed at least the same level of theoretical knowledge as their male colleagues, they did not perform as well overall. “This suggests that more targeted measures need to be introduced to prepare and train women for emergency situations,” says Professor Sabina Hunziker, the study leader.
CPR alone is highly unlikely to restart a victim’s heart
So, what can the maritime industry learn from these fascinating results? For shipowners, it certainly raises some key questions: have your crew undergone appropriate training and do you have the right equipment on-board to save a life in the event of a SCA? At sea, there’s certainly no time for a medevac, so in order to save the life of the victim, crew must be confident and competent handing a SCA situation. A key component to this, is ensuring the vessel is equipped with a defibrillator, as CPR alone is highly unlikely to restart the victims heart.
Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs): for fool-proof and safe SCA treatment
The great news is that thanks to advances in technology, the market-leading marine industry defibrillators are now automatic! The defibrillators analyse the patient to determine if a shock is required and if so, the rescuer presses one button to deliver the shock. The benefit of this, is that the systems are fool-proof and incredibly safe to use as it’s impossible to deliver a shock when it’s not required. This also means that training on how to use the units is quick and straightforward, with limited leadership skills required: they’re that simple to use that even a child can operate one!
Lifeforce AED: offering a 70% increased chance of survival in the event of SCA
The industry’s leading defibrillator is Lifeforce AED from Martek Marine. Why is it the best? Perhaps most importantly, the product offers a 70% increased chance of survival in the event of SCA. Being the fastest acting defibrillator on the market, the system delivers a life-saving shock within just 3 minutes! In addition, it’s type-approved which offers assurance that when needed, the system won’t let you down.
Portable, the system has a built-in handle & weighs just 1.9kg, meaning the product is easily stored or carried to the victim’s side. The product is also incredibly durable, being weatherproof and having a ruggedized rubber casing for protection against impact damage. Better still, it’s a complete system, as everything required to save a life can be provided, including; storage solutions, paediatric pads & training. Finally, not just in it for the short-term, Lifeforce is future-proof: legislation change updates can be done on-site in minutes & at no additional cost, with a 8-year warranty provided as standard.