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

David Fincher Talks 'Gone Girl,' Avoids Spoilers (Hooray!)

The director, whose previous work includes Fight Club and The Social Network, talks to NPR's Audie Cornish about the challenges of taking Gillian Flynn's intimate drama from the page to the screen.
NPR

From Kale To Pale Ale, A Love Of Bitter May Be In Your Genes

Researchers have found a gene that affects how strongly you experience bitter flavors. And those who aren't as sensitive eat about 200 more servings of vegetables per year.
NPR

Top Spending PAC Aims To Keep The Senate In Democratic Hands

Senate Majority PAC, run by allies of Senate Majority Leader Reid, is the top-spending superPAC in the midterm election season. Its donors are essentially a compilation of the party's big-donor base.
NPR

Tech Firms Chip Away At Credit Cards' Share Of Transactions

Companies including PayPal and Apple are competing to convince merchants and consumers to use their swipe-and-go mobile payment systems. Credit card breaches may speed up the use of digital wallets.

Leave a Comment

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