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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