Raina M. Merchant, M.D., M.S.H.P., FAHA; Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine, University of Pennsylvania
White children in prosperous neighborhoods are more likely to get bystander CPR than black children in socioeconomically disadvantaged neighborhoods, according to data published today in the Journal of the American Heart Association.
- Only 48% of all children with OHCA got bystander CPR.
- White children were more likely than children of other races/ethnicities to receive bystander CPR.
- Black children in predominantly black and socioeconomically disadvantaged neighborhoods had the lowest rates of bystander CPR.
- White children in neighborhoods with none of these characteristics were nearly twice as likely to receive bystander CPR as black children in neighborhoods with all four characteristics.
- Black children in neighborhoods with none of the four characteristics were as likely to receive bystander CPR as white children in neighborhoods with three of the characteristics.
These data highlight that predominantly non-white, lower-income and lower education neighborhoods are high-priority areas for CPR training.
Innovative ways to close the gap
- Communicating information about the disparities in bystander CPR rates, along with resources for CPR training, in consumer-friendly language through social media or within health-related, parent-targeted mobile apps.
- Training parents before a newborn is released from the hospital or during a routine pediatric office visit (as noted by the study authors).
- Partnering with home visiting organizations that promote early childhood development by supporting and engaging families, particularly those at risk. These programs are generally accessible and affordable for families and have improved clinical and behavioral health outcomes.
- Integrating CPR training into early intervention services, which are publicly funded and available in every state to provide free or reduced-cost services for eligible children.
These multi-sector partnerships can help to address social determinants of health and barriers and facilitators to healthy behaviors — and help bridge the disparity gap.