The Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA) Cardiology has indicated that the ethnicity of a neighborhood may determine the likelihood of receiving CPR or even having access to a AED and post cardiac arrest care.
The empirical research conducted an analysis of data from seven US cities including Birmingham, AL; Dallas-Fort Worth, TX; Pittsburgh, PA; Portland, OR; Seattle, WA; and Milwaukee, WI. The researcher also reviewed the demographic information from each of these cities. Over a 4-year period, the researchers identified 22,816 cases in which cardiac arrest occurred outside of a hospital. The research revealed that overall, 39.5% of those who experienced cardiac arrest outside of the hospital received bystander CPR.
However, the research also noted that rates of bystander CPR were 43.0% in white neighborhoods as compared to 18.0% in black neighborhoods. In addition, the use of an AED occurred more often in white neighborhoods. For example, in white neighborhoods, 4.5% of cardiac arrest victims received bystander defibrillation as opposed to .09% in black neighborhoods. Unfortunately, the research recognized that the opportunities for survival were greatly reduced in black neighborhoods. Further, the researchers also suggested that treatment administered by bystanders and survival experienced during post-cardiac arrest care are much lower in neighborhoods with a higher percentage of black residents.
Starks MA, Schmicker RH, Peterson ED, et al. Association of neighborhood demographics with out-of-hospital cardiac arrest treatment and outcomes: where you live may matter[published online August 30, 2017]. JAMA Cardiol. doi:10.1001/jamacardio.2017.2671
Dr. Tracy A. Jones is an American Heart Association, ASHI, and American Red Cross Master Program Trainer, Instructor, & AHA Faculty Member located in San Antonio, Texas.