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Invited Critique
November 17, 2008

Ethnic Disparities in Initial Management of Trauma Patients in a Nationwide Sample of Emergency Department Visits—Invited Critique

Arch Surg. 2008;143(11):1061. doi:10.1001/archsurg.143.11.1061

Outcome differences by race have been identified across numerous medical specialties and over a spectrum of diseases. Given that race is linked to several variables that themselves affect outcomes (such as socioeconomic status, access to care, and insurance, to name a few), investigating outcome disparities is truly a complex undertaking. That emergent trauma care, arguably the most evenly available and protocolized treatment (especially in mature trauma systems), suffers from such disparities is troubling. For those of us who practice in centers where about 90% of trauma care is provided to minority patients, these results remain especially galling.

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