Racial disparities in emergency care for seizures in the United States


Background: Racial disparities exist regarding emergency medical services, and advanced life support (ALS) is superior to basic life support (BLS) for patients experiencing a seizure. Aims: This study aims to identify if there are racial disparities regarding access to ALS care for patients having a seizure. Methods: This study analysed 624 011 seizure cases regarding the provision of BLS rather than ALS care per racial group. Chi-square testing was used to check statistical significance and effect size was measured using relative risk. Findings: On average, non-white patients experiencing a seizure had a 21% higher relative risk of receiving BLS care than white patients. The highest disparity concerned American Indian patients, who had a 66% higher relative risk of receiving BLS care than white patients. Conclusions: Overall, non-white patients are less likely to receive ALS when experiencing a seizure than white patients, potentially leading to worse prehospital outcomes from less access to time-critical medications.

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