Emergency cardiac care for women is delayed?
A recent study by Tufts Medical Center in Boston examined almost 6,000 emergency calls involving cardiac symptoms in the Dallas area and found that while ambulances responded as quickly for women patients as they did for male patients, women were more likely to receive prolonged treatment by EMTs prior to delivery to the Emergency Room. This delay increased from the average of 34 minutes in EMT care (19.9 minutes on scene and 10.3 minutes in transit) to 45 minutes for almost ten percent of patients. Even this much delay can be catastrophic under the circumstances, and women were half-again more likely to find themselves in the class of "delayed" patients.
The investigators did not identify the cause of delay in any of these patients or an explanation of the greater likelihood of delay for women, but speculated that emergency responders simply may not recognize cardiac symptoms in women as readily as they do in men: either because of a preconcieved expectation, or because of physiological differences between genders.