Controversial Study Should Motivate Women In The First Aid Arena

It is a bit surprising that, in this day and age, research would be conducted into how men and women react differently in first aid situations. Yet that is exactly what happened in the UK just a couple of years ago. Researchers studied 216 doctor trainees to gauge how they respond to cardiac arrest incidents.

To say the study was controversial at the time of its release is an understatement. It remains a source of controversy today. You will understand why in just a minute. First though, it should be made clear that the study could be seen as motivation to women in the first aid arena; motivation to be the best they can be.

Note that strong first aid skills don’t begin and end with the best UK first aid kits money can buy. Whether you are talking emergency medical technicians, firefighters, doctors, or nurses, strong first aid skills are rooted in a large knowledge base and proper training. The more you have of both, the more equipped you are to render first aid.

What the Study Found

The previously mentioned study on which this post is based is considered controversial mainly because of what it implied. Researchers conducted their study by deploying a highly sophisticated medical mannequin and simulating a cardiac arrest emergency. They did so in both individual and team settings. Then they measured how each test subject responded under multiple scenarios.

The research revealed that the female test subjects took longer to begin CPR and spent less time doing it within the first three minutes of cardiac arrest. Men began CPR in just 70 seconds and spent 109 seconds doing it. In terms of the team environment, researchers observed that men were more likely to take charge more quickly and decisively compared to women.

Researchers reached some less-than-popular conclusions from their study. Though these will not be listed here, it is enough to know that their conclusions opened a hornet’s nest in discussing first aid rendering and leadership skills.

As you can imagine, neither the study nor its results were well received across-the-board. Indeed, the spokesperson for St John Ambulance told The Sun back in 2017 that “the many thousands of women who have saved lives through learning first aid…would strongly disagree with the findings in this study.”

The Best Possible Response

The goal of this post, however, is not to focus on the study and its reception among first aid providers. Rather, it is to serve as motivation to strive for the best possible response in every first aid situation. Whether it’s cardiac arrest, head trauma or any other medical emergency, providing proven first aid is often the difference between life and death.

A cardiac arrest incident can prove fatal in short order. Cardiac arrest occurs when the heart stops beating. Within a very short time of its onset, it can lead to permanent brain damage. Cardiac arrest can kill within minutes if emergency CPR and defibrillation are not instigated quickly.

Thus, it is important for anyone whose job description involves first aid to be the best they can be. Employers should offer ongoing, top-of-the-line first aid training. Remember that knowledge and training are key to saving lives. The more knowledgeable and better trained a first aid provider is, the more likely they is to immediately respond to a medical emergency.

Voluntary First Aid Training

We have a reasonable expectation that professionals undergo regular first aid training. But what about the rest of us? Just like the UK study is motivation for professionals, it should be motivation for everyone else as well. The simple truth is that properly rendered first aid saves lives and reduces the risks of serious injuries.

Voluntary first aid training is a great idea for anyone, regardless of age or gender. Women need not be anxious about training based on the results of a single study that may or may not tell the whole story. Additionally, teenagers should not ignore opportunities for first aid training based on their age.

Thorough training gives individuals the confidence they need to respond in emergency situations. Ongoing training that reinforces what has already been learned and gives people the opportunity to practice creates even more confidence. Ideally, that is what we should be pushing for.

You Could Save a Life

As a member of society at large, are you prepared to act in the event of a medical emergency? Would you know how to respond if someone nearby went into cardiac arrest while you were out with friends? You could save a life if you knew how to recognize the signs of cardiac arrest and administer proper first aid.

The first aid study from a few years ago is certainly controversial and calls for more conversation about gender equality in the workplace. But when it comes to first responders, it is perhaps better to encourage as many people as possible to be trained in basic first aid techniques. Lives need to be saved and that matters more than debating about whether a man or woman is better suited.

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