Black and Hispanic adults who go into cardiac arrest in public are less likely to receive CPR from anyone standing by before a medical team arrives, a new study finds.
Overall, the relative likelihood of getting bystander CPR at home was 26% lower for Black and Hispanic people than for Whites, and the likelihood of bystander CPR for cardiac arrests in public was 37% lower for Blacks and Hispanics than for Whites, according to the study, published Thursday in the New England Journal of Medicine.
“These results were important to understand and likely emblematic of other larger social issues that affect health care and treatment,” Dr. Paul Chan, the study’s senior author and cardiologist at Saint Luke’s Mid America Heart Institute in Missouri, said in a news release.
“In cardiac arrest, you depend on bystanders to respond. Without them, the likelihood of surviving before first responders and paramedics arrive are substantially lower,” he said. “That’s why this study really brings to light challenges with structural and individual bias that we, as a society, have to confront that may not be as prominent with other medical conditions.”