Study: Black-white stroke gap not due to bias
In the District, black stroke victims are one-third as likely as whites to get timely live-saving treatments. But, according to an article in the health journal Stroke, the problem isn't racial bias, necessarily. It's all a function of time.
The most time-related factor in stroke treatment is when the potentially life-saving tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) is administered. Blacks are less likely to get tPA in time because they don't arrive at the hospital in time, which could be the result of any number of factors: distance from a hospital, health insurance (or lack thereof), the responsiveness of ambulances, and so on. Once patients make it to the hospital, doctors then need to check for high blood pressure (40 percent of blacks suffer from it), obesity, and previous strokes, before administering the drug. This takes precious time.
The bottom line is this: if you think you're suffering a stroke, go to the hospital immediately. It could mean the difference between life and death.
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