After Surgery, Black Children Are More Likely to Die than White Children

July 21, 2020

(Scientific American) – Studies have repeatedly shown that Black patients’ experiences with the U.S. health care system are worse than those of white patients at almost every stage, from infancy to geriatric care. In surgical settings, Black patients experience more complications, receive fewer follow-up visits and are more likely to die. Conventional medical thinking has largely attributed such disparities to a higher occurrence of comorbidities (the presence of two or more chronic illnesses) among Black people. But a new study finds that even in apparently healthy children with no preexisting comorbidities, there were still big differences in postsurgical outcomes.