An attachment which converts a CPR dummy into a female model has been developed in the hope of challenging gender bias in training.
New York advertising agency JOAN Creative has produced the WoManikin, a universal attachment which slips over a traditional CPR dummy to allow people to learn how to deliver first aid to a woman.
The company cites figures that suggest women are 27% less likely to receive CPR in public than men.
They say in part it’s because society has made touching breasts taboo and because CPR training is delivered on a male torso.
Their website states: “Our goal is to bridge the gap in CPR training by normalising a woman’s figure. So, we developed the Womankin – a universal attachment that can easily be slipped over the common flat-chested CPR manikin.”
A small study conducted online by University of Colorado School of Medicine in November last year found people feared being accused of sexual assault, or inappropriately touching when it came to giving CPR to women.
They also thought CPR was harder to administer to women.
Dr. Blewer, epidemiologist and resuscitation scientist at the Duke University School of Medicine Department of Family Medicine and Community Health told Campaign Live: “Since survival from cardiac arrest depends on the prompt delivery of CPR by a bystander, we need to think of ways to make CPR training more accessible to everyone and for everyone.
“We also need to consider ways to raise awareness around sudden cardiac arrest, address these known gender disparities, and empower more people to perform CPR if needed.”
Jaime Robinson, JOAN’s co-founder, told Campaign Live: “CPR manikins are designed to look like human bodies, but they actually represent less than half of our society.
“The absence of women’s bodies in CPR training results in hesitation from bystanders, which in turn results in women being more likely to die in cardiac arrest.
“Our hope is that the WoManikin will bridge this gap in education and, ultimately, save many lives.”
When performing CPR, the person delivering it will place their hands at the end of the person’s breastbone, where the ribs connect. JOAN say this means the deliverer will touch the person’s breasts, but adds: “Don’t worry. You might save her life.”
JOAN has made the patterns for the attachment open source, meaning anyone can download them, buy material and make their own WoManikin.
They are also crowdfunding to raise money to make 10 attachments.
Source: SKY NEWS