Thursday, March 28, 2013

Troubling age, race research results

I recently saw this troubling article from MedPage, from the annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology. According to a study, age, race biases are seen in stroke transfers:
Blacks and the elderly were dramatically underrepresented among ischemic stroke patients in rural Alabama sent to a tertiary stroke center after initial thrombolysis, a researcher said here.
Compared with 212 patients presenting directly at the stroke center's emergency department, the 96 "drip-and-ship" patients were significantly younger (median age 63 versus 68, P=0.001) and less likely to be African American (21% versus 38%, P=0.012), said Amelia Boehme, MSPH, of the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). ...
The drip-and-ship model is a method to deliver thrombolysis to acute stroke patients in facilities that lack onsite neurology coverage, the authors explained.
Again, these results are troubling. I realize that each case must be handled individually, but at the same time, every patient should expect quality care.

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