Saturday, November 26, 2022

Group of US pediatricians moves to drop race-based guidance

For years, pediatricians have followed flawed guidelines linking race to the risk of urinary infections and neonatal jaundice. In a new policy announced Monday, the American Academy of Pediatrics said it is putting all of its guidance on eliminating “race-based” medicine and the resulting health inequalities under the microscope.

A re-examination of AAP treatment recommendations that began before the 2020 death of George Floyd and intensified after doctors worried that black youth were under-treated and ignored, the new policy’s lead author and chief health equity officer Doctor. Joseph Wright said. Medical System of the University of Maryland.

The influential academy has begun to remove outdated advice. Wright said it is committed to examining its “entire catalog”, including guidelines, educational materials, textbooks and newsletter articles.

“We’re really getting more rigorous about the ways we assess risk of disease and health outcomes,” Wright said. “We have to hold ourselves accountable like this. It will require a heavy lift.”

“What makes it so important is that it is a medical institution and it is not just words. They are acting,” James said.

In recent years, other major doctor groups, including the American Medical Association, have made similar pledges. They are partly inspired by the civil rights and social justice movements, but also show a strong role by science that social conditions, genetics and other biological factors play in determining health.

Last year, the Academy retired a guideline calculation based on the unproven idea that black children faced a lower risk than white children for urinary infections. One review showed that the strongest risk factors were prior urinary infections and fever lasting more than 48 hours, not race, Wright said.

Revisions to its neonatal jaundice guidance — which currently suggest that certain breeds have higher and lower risks — are planned for this summer, Wright said.

Whatever the motive, these AIDS have caused harm to the patients, he said.

“It violates our oath as physicians — to do no harm — and as such should not be used,” Heard-Garris said.

Dr. Valerie Walker, a specialist in neonatal care and health equity at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, called the new policy “an important step” toward reducing racial health disparities.

The Academy is urging other medical institutions and special groups to take a similar approach to working to end racism in medicine.

“We can’t just plug a leak into a pipe full of holes and hope to fix it,” Hurd-Garris said. “This statement shines a light for pediatricians and other healthcare providers to find and patch those holes.”

Follow Associated Press Medical Writer Lindsay Tanner @Lindsay Tanner,

The Associated Press Department of Health and Science receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. Associated Press is solely responsible for all content.


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