Black Kids Get Less Pain Medicine Than White Kids in Emergency Rooms

Black Kids Get Less Pain Medicine Than White Kids in Emergency Rooms
September 14 16:52 2015 Print This Article

In America many non-black people claim to be colorblind, but the data suggests otherwise.

A study by Dr. Monika Goyal of the Children’s National Health System in Washington and peers, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association’s JAMA Pediatrics, found that black kids get less pain medicine than their white counterparts when visiting the emergency room for acute appendicitis.

Although pain medication is recommended for the condition, researchers reported on Monday that black kids were less likely to be treated with pain medicine.

“Black patients with moderate pain were less likely to receive any analgesia, and black patients with severe pain were less likely to be treated with opioids,” Dr. Goyal said.

From NBC News:

The researchers used national survey data from 2003 to 2010, covering more than 900,000 children with acute appendicitis. They thought studying appendicitis would be a good starting point since there’s broad agreement among experts that it’s a condition that merits pain relief.


Only 57 percent of the kids got anything for their pain in the emergency department, they found, and only 41 percent got an opioid drug. And just 12 percent of black children got an opioid drug for pain.

“Our findings suggest that there are racial disparities in opioid administration to children with appendicitis,” Goyal’s team wrote.

“Our findings suggest that although clinicians may recognize pain equally across racial groups, they may be reacting to the pain differently by treating black patients with nonopioid analgesia, such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen, while treating white patients with opioid analgesia for similar pain.”

Researchers also note that medical professionals fear giving opioids to children since there’s a danger of overdose and dependence.

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Rick Manigault
Rick Manigault

Perhaps the less injections/concoctions from Big Pharma the better.