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Lesser Black children given opioids for appendicitis than white children


A study that derived its data from a retrospective cross-sectional analysis of hospital survey has revealed a surprising finding that black children were less likely to receive opioids for the appendicitis related pain in the emergency room as compared to the white children, NY Times reports.

Results of the study were reported in JAMA Pediatrics.

Monika K. Goyal, MD, MSCE, of Children's National Health System in Washington, DC, said that 34% of white children with appendicitis were treated with opioid analgesia as compared to 12% of black children.

The study also showed that 60% of white children were likely to receive opioids for moderate appendicitis-related pain, while only 15% of black children received opioids for the same condition.

Goyal told MedPage Today that her team specifically looked at the opioids given for the appendicitis pain to black children because appendicitis is a painful surgical condition and there are accepted medical guidelines regarding the treatment of pain with opioids. Therefore, the fact that lesser black children were given opioids for the painful condition was a surprising finding.

Goyal said, "Although there's literature that has documented racial disparities in pain management for adults, we were surprised that these differences also exist in children and in a condition like appendicitis where one of main things is adequate pain control with opioids".

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