Study Finds Racial Disparity In Care For D.C. Patients With Strokes | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

Study Finds Racial Disparity In Care For D.C. Patients With Strokes

Play associated audio

Dr. Chelsea Kidwell, medical director of the Georgetown University Stroke Center and author of the study, tells WAMU's Pat Brogan that the drug, called tPA, is currently the only proven and FDA-approved treatment for acute ischemic stroke. Kidwell says tPA is administered into a patient's vein to help break up blood clots when a patient has a stroke and can reverse the signs and symptoms of a stroke, including paralysis and loss of speech.

"But importantly, tPA must be given within a few hours of symptom on-set, so people need to know to call 911, and don't delay getting to the hospital," she says.

Among the reasons African-Americans are not receiving tPA as often, Kidwell says, "is that the African-American population does not get to the hospital in time. They don't call 911."

Also, Kidwell says, African-American patients are more likely to have existing medical conditions, like high blood pressure, that would make tPA unsafe for them.

"[In] patients who do arrive in time and are eligible for treatment, there in fact is no racial disparity," she says. "So our finding is important in showing that there's no institutional or medical care bias in treating patients."

Kidwell says the next step is to create "culturally tailored" and relevant education programs to teach people about stroke signs and symptoms and prepare them to call 911.

NPR

MacArthur Fellow Terrance Hayes: Poems Are Music, Language Our Instrument

Hayes, a professor of writing at the University of Pittsburgh, was recognized for "reflecting on race, gender, and family in works that seamlessly encompass both the historical and the personal."
NPR

Diet Soda May Alter Our Gut Microbes And The Risk Of Diabetes

There's a new wrinkle to the old debate over diet soda: Artificial sweeteners may alter our microbiomes. And for some, this may raise blood sugar levels and set the stage for diabetes.
NPR

House Passes Bill That Authorizes Arming Syrian Rebels

Even though it was backed by both party leaders, the vote split politicians within their own ranks. The final tally on the narrow military measure was 273 to 156.
NPR

3.7 Million Comments Later, Here's Where Net Neutrality Stands

A proposal about how to maintain unfettered access to Internet content drew a bigger public response than any single issue in the Federal Communication Commission's history. What's next?

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.