Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Serious as a Heart Attack

This is among the reasons why white people don't necessarily have to actively hate black people in order for these sorts of disparities to take place. Or, at least, we see the way racism the effects the Black economy comes over to effect another area, like healthcare.

Yeah . . . just read the article. It doesn't seem that personal racism effected the treatment black cardiac arrest patients received. So to that extent, white people don't necessarily have to consciously hate black people for these things to happen! I can't stress that enough. White Americans, just because you "aren't racist" doesn't mean these things don't happen. And it certainly doesn't mean we should let them happen.

Now. According to the article, the issue was the facilities and staff experience, which makes me think that these facilities aren't well financed. Right? And that brings to mind the fact that in addition to our disproportionate rate of poverty, which is due to past and present racism; we face employment and income discrimination. This is a factoid that may take a while for me to find the study where I read it. I read it a while back. But anyway, due to racism, the Black economy is missing billions of dollars. You think that would help these facilities and improve the healthcare black folks receive?

Here's the article:

Black Patients Receive Substandard Cardiac Care, Resulting in Higher Death Risk

A startling recent study has concluded that for black patients in the USA their chances of surviving a cardiac arrest in hospital are less than other ethnic groups.

But the study concludes that may have little to do with the patients themselves, but rather the facilities where they are treated at the time of their cardiac incident.

The study was conducted by researchers from St. Luke’s and the University of Michigan Health System, as well as cardiologists and researchers from Duke University, The University of Washington Medical School in St Louis and Yale University and studied the care, both before and after a cardiac arrest of 10,011 patients in hospitals all over the United States. All of the patients underwent defibrillation intended to restart heart activity stopped after a cardiac arrest.

About half of the black patients that the study researched were successfully resuscitated, compared to a 67% rate in white patients. And although the black patients were actually normally sicker than other groups upon hospital admission they were less likely to be admitted to a unit where their condition was actively monitored. Even in those who were successfully initially resuscitated the eventual chances of the black patients surviving to a successful discharge and recovery were also disproportionately lower than other ethnic groups.

The problem stems from the level of care that is provided by the facilities where these black patients receive their care says Brahmajee K. Nallamothu, M.D., MPH, a senior author on the paper and cardiologist at the U-M Cardiovascular Center. He says that he and his team have produced research that suggests” that there are important facility-level characteristics at the hospitals where black patients are most commonly treated.”

These include he says less experienced emergency room and intensive care unit staff and less use of more advanced cardiac care techniques such as cardiac catheterization or hypothermia.

All of the authors agree that the results of their work should indicate that the focus of reducing the incidence of cardiac related death amongst black patients needs to shift from the patients themselves to the facilities where they commonly seek treatment.

The study concludes by stating that strategies need to be implemented to improve the level of care in the hospitals who see the most black patients, rather than focusing primarily on any genetic or lifestyle difference that may cause the disparity in fatality rates.

The study was published in the September 16th edition of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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But Don't Jack My Genuis