Race, Economic Status Affect Whether You’ll Receive Emergency CPR
White Americans with a few bucks in their pockets have a better chance of getting their lives saved by CPR than minorities on the wrong side of the poverty line, according to new research.
The study found that people suffering from cardiac arrest in wealthy, mostly white neighborhoods were more likely to get CPR assistance than if the incident happened in a poor neighborhood. “Location, location, location is crucial in real estate, and I would say the same for cardiac arrest,” said Dr. Comilla Sasson, an assistant professor in the department of emergency medicine at the University of Colorado School of Medicine.
The study indicates that nearly 30 percent of African-Americans and Latinos never receive CPR, no matter if they go into cardiac arrest in Beverly Hills or in Compton. “Working as an emergency room doctor for more than 10 years now, I realized that time and again I’d see patients in black and lower-income neighborhoods not have anyone start CPR,” said Dr. Sasson. “It’s completely dependent on where you have a heart episode.”
Researchers say that in studying rich neighborhoods where residents earned $40,000 on average or more and poor neighborhoods earning the same, that no matter what, poor, black neighborhoods were 51 percent less likely to receive CPR than their white, rich counterparts.
Although the study did not go on to explain why this phenomenon is happening, some experts believe it is due to the lack of CPR knowledge in poorer residential areas.