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Racial disparities can affect outcomes for brain injury patients

Brain injuries can be devastating for anyone in Florida who experiences this type of complex harm. Traumatic brain injuries not only involve significant recovery time but may also lead to substantial changes in your ongoing quality of life and significant risks for the future. In addition, other factors may affect your survival and outcomes after a brain injury. According to one study by Oregon Health and Science University reviewing results for over 6,300 traumatic brain injury patients, people of color face twice the risk of dying due to their injuries.

What causes these differences?

While the overall death rate found in the study was 9.9%, it rose to 14.6% among patients who were identified as belonging to ethnic or racial minority groups. Further subdividing the patients by the severity of their injuries, age, pre-existing conditions and other factors, they determined that people of color with similar injuries were twice as likely as white patients to die in the hospital, despite the researchers’ affirmation that they received equal treatment, time and attention following the brain injury.

Social factors or medical bias?

The study authors said that broader social factors were at play. Socioeconomic differences, access to health care, employment and lifestyles all contribute to different health outcomes. However, middle-class and wealthy Black Americans and other people of color have continued to witness health outcome disparities despite their access to health care, knowledge of the system and safe jobs.

Structural racism may affect patient health

The researchers warned that structural racism can play a role in worsened health outcomes for people suffering from severe traumatic brain injuries. These social effects can pose an extra risk to patients’ lives even before they arrive in the hospital.

Traumatic brain injuries can have a devastating impact on victims’ lives and families. The ongoing care necessary after a serious injury can involve substantial medical bills, time away from work and losing access to favorite activities. A personal injury lawyer may work with victims to seek compensation for the damages suffered when their injury was caused by someone else’s negligence.