Racial disparities in pediatric humeral condyle fractures in the emergency department

By: Brianna Caraet, MS III

Eastern Virginia Medical School

Previous studies have demonstrated racial differences in emergency department (ED) patient care of minorities (namely, African Americans and Hispanics) as compared to their Caucasian counterparts presenting with similar illnesses or injuries.
The triage system is intended to be a standardized and objective approach to prioritize patients for treatment; however, racial patterns in triage classification have been observed. Within the U.S. Veteran’s Affairs ED, it was noted that African American and Hispanic males were assigned less urgent Emergency Severity Index (ESI) scores than their Caucasian counterparts1. An analysis of two urban EDs, between August 2009 and March 2010, also showed that African American and Hispanic children received lower acuity triage scores than Caucasian children2. Additionally, a study of an urban teaching hospital ED, from September 2007 to August 2008, showed African Americans received lower acuity ratings and also experienced longer wait times by an average of 10.9 minutes3.
These differences in ED wait times have been supported by several other studies. At non-teaching hospitals, the ED wait time was 3.6% and 8.7% longer for African Americans and Hispanics, respectively, as compared to Caucasian patients4.  These increased wait times are evident in a variety of presenting conditions and for different stages of the ED visit. For example, Hispanic patients experienced longer delays than Caucasians in receiving initial clinical assessments when presenting to the ED with….

 

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JSNMA is the flagship publication of the Student National Medical Association (SNMA). As the voice of the SNMA, it serves as an educational and outreach tool to upcoming doctors and researchers. Journal topics include medical education, research, health advocacy, career opportunities, cultural competency and community outreach.

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About the Author: JSNMA is the flagship publication of the Student National Medical Association (SNMA). As the voice of the SNMA, it serves as an educational and outreach tool to upcoming doctors and researchers. Journal topics include medical education, research, health advocacy, career opportunities, cultural competency and community outreach.

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