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Tue Aug 18, 2020, 03:48 PM

Black newborns 3 times more likely to die when looked after by White doctors


In the United States, racial disparities in human health can impact even the first hours of a person's life, according to new research.

Black newborn babies in the United States are more likely to survive childbirth if they are cared for by Black doctors, but three times more likely to die when looked after by White doctors, a study has found.

The mortality rate of Black newborns shrunk by between 39% and 58% when Black physicians took charge of the birth, according to the research, which laid bare how shocking racial disparities in human health can affect even the first hours of a person's life.

By contrast, the mortality rate for White babies was largely unaffected by the doctor's race.


The findings support previous research, which has shown that, while infant mortality rates have fallen in recent decades, Black children remain significantly more likely to die early than their White counterparts.

Researchers from George Mason University analyzed data capturing 1.8 million hospital births in Florida between 1992 and 2015 for the new study, which was published Monday in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, also known as PNAS.

When cared for by White physicians, Black newborns were about three times more likely to die in the hospital than White newborns, the researchers found. "Strikingly, these effects appear to manifest more strongly in more complicated cases, and when hospitals deliver more Black newborns," the authors wrote. "The findings suggest that Black physicians outperform their White colleagues when caring for Black newborns."

The authors did not speculate about the reasons behind the trend, but wrote: "Taken with this work, it gives warrant for hospitals and other care organizations to invest in efforts to reduce such biases and explore their connection to institutional racism."
"Reducing racial disparities in newborn mortality will also require raising awareness among physicians, nurses, and hospital administrators about the prevalence of racial and ethnic disparities," the researchers added.

https://www.cnn.com/2020/08/18/health/black-babies-mortality-rate-doctors-study-wellness-scli-intl/index.html


Implicit bias? Sadly, at the very least, it seems so.

It pains me that white medical professionals, apparently, have been affected to this degree by our systemically racist society

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Reply Black newborns 3 times more likely to die when looked after by White doctors (Original post)
bluewater Aug 2020 OP
littlemissmartypants Aug 2020 #1
a kennedy Aug 2020 #2
Hoyt Aug 2020 #3
MuseRider Aug 2020 #4
malaise Aug 2020 #5
soothsayer Aug 2020 #6
lunasun Aug 2020 #7
Demsrule86 Aug 2020 #8
Baitball Blogger Aug 2020 #9
TomSlick Aug 2020 #10

Response to bluewater (Original post)

Tue Aug 18, 2020, 03:51 PM

1. This makes me very sad. ❤ nt

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Response to littlemissmartypants (Reply #1)

Tue Aug 18, 2020, 03:53 PM

2. Me too.

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Response to bluewater (Original post)

Tue Aug 18, 2020, 04:01 PM

3. I wonder if fact the study was performed on births in Florida has anything to do with it.

In any event, I hope there is some rigorous followup on this and efforts to change outcomes in Florida and elsewhere.

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Response to bluewater (Original post)

Tue Aug 18, 2020, 04:06 PM

4. This just seems unbelievable

but sadly it is not. I was an ER nurse then an ICU trauma nurse. I do not remember anyone ever not going 100% to save anyone. The only ever mention of race was because of ID on the admission charts.

I cannot say how much this saddens me on every level.

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Response to bluewater (Original post)

Tue Aug 18, 2020, 04:07 PM

5. Even our babies are victims

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Response to bluewater (Original post)

Tue Aug 18, 2020, 04:09 PM

6. That is horrifying

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Response to bluewater (Original post)

Tue Aug 18, 2020, 04:20 PM

7. I try to avoid them by choice which is not difficult here. But if it's an emergency, you are stuck

with whatever team walks in to the ER room.
Likewise a quick moving middle of the night birth or as the link mentioned these effects appear to manifest more strongly in more complicated cases.
So even physician choice is not always something you can control as a patient to avoid the statistics

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Response to bluewater (Original post)

Tue Aug 18, 2020, 04:24 PM

8. That is shocking.

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Response to bluewater (Original post)

Tue Aug 18, 2020, 05:29 PM

9. Holy shit!

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Response to bluewater (Original post)

Tue Aug 18, 2020, 06:53 PM

10. I hope that if physicians (regardless of race) are made aware of this statistic,

they will ask themselves serious questions.

If I was a GP, pediatrician, or ER doc, I would be checking my own statistics. If my statistics were equally skewed, I would be very concerned.

I recommend that everyone (regardless of race) should take the Harvard Implicit Bias test. I found the result enlightening. Don't assume that just because you are a progressive, you don't have some implicit bias. You cannot address a problem you do not know exists.

I keep saying "regardless of race" because from the studies I have read, implicit bias against AA exists among AA professionals, if to a lesser degree.

The test can be found at: [link:https://implicit.harvard.edu/implicit/takeatest.html|

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