Texas Liberal

All People Matter

The Institutionalized Way We Kill Black People

A recent New York Times story reported that many people die in hospitals from cardiac arrest because hospital personnel do not reach them in time. 

And also, because they are black and/or poor. 

From the story— 

In nearly a third of cases of sudden cardiac arrest in the hospital, the staff takes too long to respond, increasing the risk of brain damage and death, a new study finds. 

In the real world, doctors and nurses do not always run fast enough. Expert guidelines say the shock should be given within two minutes after the heart stops, but the study found that it took longer in 30 percent of the cases.

The consequences were striking. When the defibrillation was delayed, only 22.2 percent of patients survived long enough to be discharged from the hospital, as opposed to 39.3 percent when the shock was given on time.

The study, being published Thursday in The New England Journal Of Medicine is the largest ever to look at what happened to patients with “shockable” abnormalities in heart rhythm, and to correlate their outcomes with the time it took to deliver the needed shock.

Delays were more likely in patients whose hearts stopped at night or on the weekend, who were admitted for noncardiac illnesses, in hospitals with fewer than 250 beds and in units without heart monitors.

Being black also increased the odds of a delay, but the researchers said this finding probably reflected the quality of hospitals in areas where most blacks live and are treated, rather than a decision by medical workers to drag their feet because of a patient’s race.

Here is the full story.

Beyond the fact that people are not running fast enough, and that you are more likely to die if you have a heart attack on a weekend , the fact of simply being black, or poor, might well place you in a second-rate facility for no valid reason at all is incredible.  

Yet it is taken as such a natural condition that the article makes only that one reference to the fact.

Of course black people often end up in second-class facilities. 

Where else do you think they would be sent?

Death is built into the structure of how things are.

Where are the local NAACP chapters and all the Democrats black folks and city residents vote for year after year?

The American Medical Association seems to have plenty of resources to push for so-called “tort reform.” Maybe those folks could address this question as well.

When does stuff like this change?

January 6, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | 3 Comments