This article was originally posted by the Evening Standard and published by MSN here. This is only one of several articles posted on this topic this week.

Women are less likely than men to be given CPR if they fall unconscious and their heart stops beating in a public place, according to a new study.

Bystanders could be “worried about hurting or touching women” which may prevent them from delivering life-saving cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) in the street or other public locations, academics suggested.

Researchers urged people to learn how to perform CPR and to give it “without hesitation” to anyone who needs it regardless of their gender, age or location.

Women experiencing a cardiac arrest are less likely to get the CPR they need compared to men, especially if the emergency happens in public. We don’t know why this is the case. It could be that people are worried about hurting or touching women, or that they think a woman is less likely to be having a cardiac arrest.

Dr Alexis Cournoyer

A team of Canadian researchers set out to examine the assistance given to people when they go into cardiac arrest – when their heart suddenly stops beating.

They analyzed data on more than 39,000 cardiac arrests which happened outside of a hospital setting in Canada and the US between 2005 and 2015.

Almost a quarter (23%) occurred in public locations. The patients had an average age of 67 and 29% of the cases were in women.

Only around half of patients (54%) received CPR from a bystander.

Researchers found that in public locations women were 28% less likely to receive CPR compared to men.

In homes and other private places gender did not appear to be linked to whether or not a person received CPR.

But the researchers found that older people were less likely to receive CPR in private locations, according to the study which is being presented to the European Emergency Medicine Congress in Barcelona.

With every 10-year increase in age, men were around 9% less likely to be given CPR during a cardiac arrest. Women were 3% less likely.