A recent research has found that patients who suffer a cardiac arrest out of hospital are less likely to get CPR initiated by a bystander in low income black neighborhoods compared to white, high income neighborhoods.

Victims in median household income neighborhoods of less than $40, 000 with more than 80 percent of the population being blacks have a 50 % reduced chance of getting a CPR in case they suffer from a carried arrest out of the hospital. The researching was done by Comilla Sasson and his colleagues from Colorado School of Medicine, Aurora. The effectiveness of a CPR initiated by a bystander depends largely on the presence of a person who is well prepared and ready to attempt the CPR and success in initiating the various interventions necessary for survival, said the research team.

Out of patient cardiac arrest

They added that it is important that public health interventions like CPR training are directed to certain communities who should be identified based on the features of their neighborhoods. When assessing how race and income impacts on the likelihood of a patient receiving the bystander initiated CPR, investors reviewed a data of 14, 225 patients that had suffered a cardiac arrest out of hospital as recorded in CARES- Cardiac Arrest Registry to Enhance Survival, a collaboration between Emory University and the CDC.

The database at CARES had information on where the patients had first experienced the cardiac arrest, the characteristics of emergency service and the protocols of the cardiac arrest in addition to patient characteristics like ethnic group, if others witnessed the arrest and the neurologic results. The neurologic results were rated on a 5 point scale in which case one stood for consciousness and normal function while 5 represented both brain dead and dead. Data recorded at the registry also showed if a bystander (a person not working for the national 911 response team) did attempt CPR treatment on the patient.’

Neighborhood statistics in responding to cardiac arrest

28.6 percent represented by 4, 068 people who had an out of hospital cardiac arrest got CPR initiated by a bystander. Compared with predominant white neighborhoods, more than 80%, with average income of $40, 000 at least, there was a significant reduction on the possibility of the patient getting help in below demographics:

  • Wealthy neighborhoods dominated by blacks
  • Poor neighborhoods dominated by whites
  • Poor neighborhoods with whites and blacks integration
  • Poor neighborhoods dominated by blacks

However, there were other characteristics or events that significantly increased the possibility of getting bystander assistance. E.g. it was noted that there was a twice as likely possibility of the patient getting CPR if the event was witnessed and 70% more likelihood for arrests which occurred in public. In conclusion, it was noted that the Hispanics and blacks were about 30% less likely compared to whites to get the bystander initiated CPR. This shows that neighborhood impacts do not sufficiently account for the racial differences even though many factors could still affect the outcome.