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Study Finds Black Patients had Longer Admissions for Sepsis, Respiratory Failure, Compared with White Patients

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A new study, published in JAMA Network Open, found racial disparities appear to be impacting hospital stay durations for sepsis and acute respiratory failure (ARF).

The study sought to measure disparities in hospital length of stay (LOS) among patients at high risk of adverse outcomes who present with sepsis and/or ARF and did not immediately require life support and to quantify associations with patient- and hospital-level factors.

For this retrospective study, researchers used electronic health record data from 27 acute care teaching and community hospitals across the Philadelphia metropolitan and northern California areas between January 1, 2013, and December 31, 2018. The study included 102 362 adult patients who met clinical criteria for sepsis or ARF with a high risk of death at the time of presentation to the emergency department but without an immediate requirement for invasive life support.

Findings from the study showed black patients had significantly longer hospital stays than their white counterparts in regards to both sepsis and ARF. The study concluded Black patients with severe illness who presented with sepsis and/or ARF experienced longer LOS than White patients. Hispanic patients with sepsis and Asian American and Pacific Islander and Hispanic patients with ARF both experienced shorter LOS.

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