Public release date: 28-Apr-2012
Contact: Debbie Jacobson
American Academy of Pediatrics
Racial differences found in care of children in ED
Black youths less likely to get medication for abdominal pain than white patients
BOSTON – Black children are less likely than white children to receive medication for abdominal pain in the emergency department (ED) even when they report severe pain, according to a study to be presented Saturday, April 28, at the Pediatric Academic Societies (PAS) annual meeting in Boston.
"The emergency department serves as our nation's health care safety net, where all children can receive care regardless of their insurance status, ability to pay or race," said lead author Tiffani J. Johnson, MD, pediatric emergency medicine fellow at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh and a postdoctoral scholar at RAND-University of Pittsburgh. "It is concerning to find that black children are less likely than white children to receive pain medication for treatment of their abdominal pain."
Results showed that black and Hispanic children were more likely to stay in the ED for more than six hours compared to white children. However, there were no racial differences in what tests were performed to evaluate the cause of abdominal pain or hospital admission rates.