Studies show that Black babies are three times more likely to die during childbirth if cared for by White doctors in the United States reports CNN.
This shows racial disparities in human health have an effect on a person even in their first few hours of life. Research showed that after Black physicians took charge of the birth, the mortality rate of Black newborns decreased between 39 percent and 58 percent, according to George Mason University Research.
On the other hand, that same research revealed mortality rates for White babies wasn’t affected by the doctor’s race on a scale as wide as it is for Black babies.
These findings also support prior research that shows that although infant mortality rates have fallen in the past decades, Black children are still more likely to die earlier than their white counterparts.
The authors of the study reveal “the findings suggest that Black physicians outperform their White colleagues when caring for Black newborns,” according to CNN. They also did not voice speculations over the reasons behind the trend, but wrote, “taken with this work, it gives warrant for hospitals and other care organizations to invest in efforts to reduce such biases and explore their connection to institutional racism.”
As they look ahead to how to make a much-needed change when it comes to racism within healthcare, researchers add, “reducing racial disparities in newborn mortality will also require raising awareness among physicians, nurses, and hospital administrators about the prevalence of racial and ethnic disparities.”
Although this seems like it’s new information, it’s been a well-known fact that Black infants have 2.3 times the infant mortality rate as White infants according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Minority Health.
A recent report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revealed the amount of infant deaths decreased in the U.S. between the years of 2000 to 2017, according to CNN. However, Black infants still had twice the risk of dying as their White infant counterparts.
Studies like this emphasize why it’s important to dismantle a healthcare system that doesn’t work for us at what seems like all stages of life.