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Black kids in poor neighborhoods half as likely to receive CPR

Researchers report that both black and Hispanic children are less likely than white kids to receive bystander CPR, which they say could be a result of racial issues -- or simply a lack of people trained to deliver CPR.

By Tauren Dyson
When suffering cardiac arrest, kids in majority black communities with high levels unemployment and poverty are 41 percent less likely to receive bystander CPR. Photo by RAMA/Wikimedia
When suffering cardiac arrest, kids in majority black communities with high levels unemployment and poverty are 41 percent less likely to receive bystander CPR. Photo by RAMA/Wikimedia

July 10 (UPI) -- Black children from poor communities are nearly half as likely to receive CPR from a bystander than white children, new research shows.

When suffering cardiac arrest, kids in majority black communities with high levels of unemployment and poverty are 41 percent less likely than white kids to get bystander CPR, according to research published Wednesday in the Journal of the American Heart Association.

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While the researchers say a lack of CPR training may be at fault, the new study also shows that Hispanic kids are 33 percent less than white kids to receive bystander CPR -- further suggesting a racial aspect in the chance for receiving the potentially life-saving care.

"We believe this is the first study to describe the possible role of racial and sociodemographic factors in provision of bystander CPR to pediatric cardiac arrest in the United States," Maryam Naim, a pediatric cardiac intensive care physician at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and study lead investigator, said in news release.

To understand the reasons for this disparity, the researchers analyzed pediatric non-traumatic out of hospital cardiac arrests from the Cardiac Arrest Registry to Enhance Survival database between 2013 and 2017.

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Of the 7,086 cardiac arrests found during that time, 3,399 children received bystander CPR.

The American Heart Association estimates about 7,000 children have cardiac arrests outside of hospitals annually.

The researchers admit they aren't sure why white children receive bystander CPR at higher rates than other racial and ethnic groups. They do, however, think these findings should lead to providing more CPR training in poor, non-white neighborhoods.

Naim even suggests giving CPR training to new parents before their newborns are released from the hospital.

"As most bystander CPR is provided by family members, lower response rates are likely due to a lack of CPR training and recognition of cardiac arrests," Naim said.

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