Childhood sepsis deadlier for Black patients, study finds

Black children with sepsis are more likely to die than white or Hispanic kids, a study published Dec. 14 in The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health found.

Researchers analyzed data on 9,816 children with severe sepsis treated at 1,253 U.S. hospitals in 2016. Data came from an all-payer federal inpatient database for children.

Sepsis mortality was 14.6 percent across all pediatric sepsis patients. However, this rate was far higher for Black children (18.4 percent) compared to white (13.4 percent) or Hispanic children (13.7percent). 

After accounting for numerous factors that could influence mortality, researchers found Black children had an almost 20 percent greater chance of death than white children. Black and Hispanic patients with sepsis also stayed in the hospital for about two days longer than white children.

"Our findings suggest that there might be differential sepsis recognition, approaches to treatment, access to healthcare services and provider bias that contribute to poorer sepsis outcomes for racial and ethnic minority patients and those of lower socioeconomic position," study authors wrote. 

To view the full study, click here.

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