The manikins used to perform life-saving CPR are not diverse enough, according to doctors.
The researchers want to move away from reliance on the default “skinny white male” role models.
This will help overcome “biases” among bystanders and improve the survival of other groups, they say.
This, according to the team, would be done by “changing the perception of sudden cardiac death”, meaning people recognize that it doesn’t just happen to white men.
Scholars from Canada and Argentina have found that less than 10% of the models used to promote CPR on social media are black or Asian.
According to the study, none involved pregnant women and almost none involved obese people.
Manikins used in CPR training, often provided free by charities, can cost hundreds of pounds each.
Lifesaving CPR training is used to help bystanders improve their chances of survival if someone experiences cardiac arrest, a sudden loss of heart function.
Cardiac arrest kills thousands of people each year in Britain and the United States.
Canadian and Argentinian researchers claim that the fake “skinny white male” CPR model (top) dominates social media posts on the subject compared to female models (bottom left) and those of other ethnicities ( at the bottom right)
HOW TO DO CPR
Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) can be used to try to restart a person’s heart if it has stopped.
CPR should only be used in an emergency if a person is unconscious and not breathing.
People without CPR training should stick to hands-only chest compressions, according to the NHS.
To perform a chest compression:
Place the heel of your hand on the breastbone in the center of the person’s chest. Place your other hand on top of your first hand and interlace your fingers.
Stand with your shoulders over your hands.
Using your body weight (not just your arms), press directly into his chest 5-6 cm (2-2.5 inches).
Keeping your hands on his chest, release the compression and allow the chest to return to its original position.
Repeat these compressions at a rate of 100 to 120 times per minute until an ambulance arrives or you are exhausted.
There are no specific CPR tips for Blacks or Asians as the techniques used are exactly the same for all adults.
Writing in the Canadian Journal of Cardiology, the experts presented the results of their study titled Determining the Importance of Various gEnders, Races and body Shapes for CPR Education (DIVERESE).
They found that nearly all of the models used in training videos and images posted to social media by North and South American organizations between September 2019 and September 2021 were skinny white men.
Of the 211 images analyzed, only 1.8% were fat models, only 15.2% were women, and only 3.8% were models representing a black person and only 1.4% represented an Asian person.
The researchers also pointed out that none of the models used in the social media posts were of pregnant women.
They also noted that engagement on posts featuring white models was higher than those featuring models of various races.
Their new research follows an audit of mannequins used in CPR certification courses which found the vast majority use the skinny white male model, an issue they described as ‘problematic’.
They even go so far as to suggest that it could have an impact on real-world cardiac arrest survival rates.
“Due to the limited representation of women, racial diversity, and non-skinny models in CPR certification, we propose the idea that this apparent bias could affect the effectiveness of CPR on real-life patients. “, they said.
Lead researcher Dr Adrian Baranchuk, a medical expert from Queen’s University in Ontario, said the issue of CPR manikin diversity was crucial.
“Diversity training is an important target for CPR education because it would theoretically change the perception of sudden cardiac death in a large population,” he said.
“Awareness of this issue is crucial for educational tools to be representative of populations in need of real-life CPR.”
Their audit of 211 social media posts featuring CPR models found the vast majority were white, masculine and thin, which the researchers described as ‘problematic’ and could lead to poorer results. for groups not represented in the real world.
WHAT IS A CARDIAC ARREST?
Cardiac arrest occurs when the heart suddenly stops pumping blood through the body, which is usually due to a problem with electrical signals in the organ.
This causes the brain to be deprived of oxygen, causing sufferers to not breathe and lose consciousness.
In the UK, more than 30,000 cardiac arrests occur each year outside of hospital, compared to more than 356,000 in the United States.
Cardiac arrests are different from heart attacks, the latter occurring when the blood supply to the heart muscle is cut off due to a clot in one of the coronary arteries.
Common causes include heart attacks, heart disease, and inflammation of the heart muscle.
A drug overdose and the loss of a large amount of blood may also be to blame.
Giving an electric shock through the chest wall via a defibrillator can restart the heart.
Meanwhile, CPR can keep oxygen circulating in the body.
He added that more research is needed to come up with solutions to this problem.
“Future work should seek solutions to minimize implicit biases present in media publications of mannikins, such as increasing exposure to racially diverse mannikins with high frequencies to override preconceived notions,” he said. he declares.
“The link between improved mortality rates in various groups and increased rates of CPR in bystanders with various individuals would be a future point of interest to investigate.”
CPR training among members of the public is considered the best way to improve survival from out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA), where a person’s heart stops beating in a place like their home, workplace or a public place like a park.
While there are around 30,000 OHCAs in the UK every year, only one in 10 people end up surviving.
However, early CPR doubles the patient’s chances of survival.
In the United States, there are approximately 356,000 OHCAs, but a recent study estimated that only 41% of them receive CPR from a nearby member of the public.
The UK does not have directly comparable statistics, but it is estimated that only 50% of out-of-hospital cardiac arrests are witnessed by a bystander, with the rest occurring when someone is alone.
In an op-ed in the same journal, researcher Nicholas Grubic, also from Queen’s Department of Medicine, said researchers had highlighted a concerning issue that should be addressed by public health authorities.
“The paucity of mannequins representing non-lean, female or pregnant individuals identified by this analysis is concerning,” he said.
“This study provides important data to suggest that there are implicit biases in OHCA and that these biases may influence disparities in OHCA training, care, and outcomes.
“New strategies to change historical perceptions of resuscitation and OHCA, which are rooted in cultural appropriation and lack of diversity, should be a public health priority.”
In their audit, the researchers noted that the small sample size and geography of their study may limit the implications of the findings for a global audience.
Cardiac arrest can be triggered by a multitude of factors, including heart attacks, electrocution, inflammation of the heart muscle called myocarditis, and drug overdose.
Signs of cardiac arrest include someone unconscious and unresponsive, which means they cannot be roused and are not breathing or having trouble breathing.
A person who witnesses a suspected cardiac arrest should call emergency services and begin CPR if they are trained to do so and if it is safe.
Emergency service operators will also sometimes talk to a member of the public about how to perform CPR even if they have no training.
CPR is key to improving survival in such emergencies because it keeps blood and oxygen flowing to the brain and around the body.