Differences in Pediatric ED Pain Management Linked to Race

Race predicts length of stay and analgesic administration in pediatric abdominal pain patients, according to a study published in the journal Pediatrics.

The study analyzed 2,298 patient records from between 2006 and 2009 collected by the National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey. Outcomes included pain score, receipt of analgesics, analgesics for severe pain, narcotic analgesics, diagnostic tests, length of stay, 72-hour-return visits and admission.

Black and Hispanic patients were more likely to have a longer hospital stay than white patients. In addition, black patients and patients of "other" race with severe pain were less likely to receive a narcotic analgesic than non-Hispanic white patients, according to the study.

Researchers suggested that knowledge of racial disparities in pediatric care is vital for quality improvement.

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