Black Lives Matter In The ER: Black Kids With Appendicitis Undertreated With Opioid Pain Meds

Black Lives Matter In The ER: Black Kids With Appendicitis Undertreated With Opioid Pain Meds

In this Sept. 5, 2013 file photo, chemotherapy is administered to a cancer patient via intravenous drip at a hospital in Durham, N.C. A leading doctor group, the American Society of Clinical Oncology, announced on Monday, June 22, 2015, that they are proposing a tool to help patients decide how much a drug will cost and how much good it is likely to do. The move is the latest of several recent efforts to focus on value in cancer care. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome, File)
(AP Photo/Gerry Broome, File)

David Kroll, FORBES

 

 
(Forbes) – Black children were more than half as likely as white children to be given opioid pain medicine when arriving in U.S. emergency departments with moderate-to-severe abdominal pain due to appendicitis, even when corrected for insurance status and other confounding variables. The researchers did not find the same disparity between white and Hispanic children, according to their study published online Monday in the journal JAMA Pediatrics.

This isn’t about rhetoric or sterile statistics – this is about kids with what is likely to be their most painful experience to date.

I’m sorry Dr. Ben Carson, but healthcare professionals who aren’t neurosurgeons still see color differences.

White? Top-shelf opioids – Black? Ibuprofen or acetaminophen

But here are the sterile statistics first: The research team performed a cross-sectional analysis of a massive database to pull out 940,000 visits between 2003 and 2010 by people age 21 and younger to the emergency department (ED) or emergency service area of any type of U.S hospital. The data come from the National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care survey (NHAMCS) that’s kept by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics. The researchers, led by Monika K. Goyal, MD, was from the Children’s National Health System and the medical schools at George Washington University and the University of California at Davis.

 

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