Are black kids less likely to receive CPR?

July 15, 2019
Miranda Hester

Ms. Hester is Content Specialist with Contemporary OB/GYN and Contemporary Pediatrics.

A new study highlights the fact that black, Hispanic, and other ethnic minority children who suffer from out-of-hospital cardiac arrest are less likely than their white counterparts to receive cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) from a bystander.

A new study from the Journal of the American Heart Association highlights the fact that black, Hispanic, and other ethnic minority children who suffer from out-of-hospital cardiac arrest are less likely than their white counterparts to receive cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) from a bystander.

The researchers used the Cardiac Arrest Registry to Enhance Survival (CARES) to find pediatric nontraumatic out-of-hospital cardiac arrest from 2013 to 2017. Each arrest was placed on an index from 0 to 4 in relation to neighborhood characteristics that were linked to a low rate of bystander CPR, which included >10% unemployment, >80% of adult residents with a high school education, median income <$50,000, and 80% black population.

Of the 7086 cases of out-of-hospital arrests found, a bystander administered CPR in 3399 cases. When compared with white children, black children were found to be 41% less likely to have CPR administered by a bystander, even when in neighborhoods given the same index score. Hispanic children were 22% less likely to be given CPR by a bystander than white children, and children of an ethnic minority were 6% less likely to have CPR performed on them.

The study also found that the neighborhood where the out-of-hospital cardiac arrest occurred played a significant role in a child’s survival to the hospital, with 29.6% in those with an index score of 0 versus 14.5% in those with an index score of 4; survival to discharge from the hospital, with 13.1% in those with a 0 index score versus 4.9% in those with a 4 index score; and a survival that was considered neurologically favorable, with 11.4% in neighborhoods with a 0 index score and 3.5% with an index score of 4.

 

The researchers said that CPR education in neighborhoods with higher index scores could help improve outcomes. They discussed potential barriers that previous studies had found when it came to implementing such educational programs, including fear of risking one’s own life, inability to recognize cardiac arrest, and a fear of law enforcement.