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Influence of Gender on the Performance of Cardiopulmonary Rescue Teams: A Randomized, Prospective Simulator Study

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Abstract

Objectives:

Little is known about the influence of gender on resuscitation performance which may improve future education in resuscitation. The aim of this study was to compare female and male rescuers in regard to cardiopulmonary resuscitation and leadership performance.

Design:

Prospective, randomized simulator study.

Setting:

High-fidelity patient simulator center of the medical ICU, University Hospitals Basel (Switzerland).

Subjects:

Two hundred sixteen volunteer medical students (108 females and 108 males) of two Swiss universities in teams of three.

Interventions:

None.

Measurements and Main Results:

We analyzed data on the group and the individual level separately. The primary outcome on the group level was the hands-on time within the first 180 seconds after the onset of the cardiac arrest. Compared with male-only teams, female-only teams showed less hands-on time (mean ± SD) (87 ± 41 vs 109 ± 33 s; p = 0.037) and a longer delay before the start of chest compressions (109 ± 77 vs 70 ± 56 s; p = 0.038). Additionally, female-only teams showed a lower leadership performance in different domains and fewer unsolicited cardiopulmonary resuscitation measures compared with male-only teams. On the individual level, which was assessed in mixed teams only, female gender was associated with a lower number of secure leadership statements (3 ± 2 vs 5 ± 3; p = 0.027). Results were confirmed in regression analysis adjusted for team composition.

Conclusions:

We found important gender differences, with female rescuers showing inferior cardiopulmonary resuscitation performance, which can partially be explained by fewer unsolicited cardiopulmonary resuscitation measures and inferior female leadership. Future education of rescuers should take gender differences into account.

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