Black children are less likely than their white peers to receive cardiopulmonary resuscitation from bystanders during emergencies, a new study has found.

The study, conducted by researchers at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Emory University, and the University of Southern California, found that African American children living in socioeconomically disadvantaged neighborhoods are significantly less likely than their Caucasian counterparts in disadvantaged or wealthier areas to receive CPR from a bystander in an emergency situation not in a hospital or medical facility.

“When analyzing the epidemiology of bystander CPR in children in the United States we found lower bystander CPR rates in Black and Hispanic children compared to white children but weren’t sure if this was due entirely to racial disparities or if it was also associated with neighborhood socioeconomic factors like income, employment, and educational status,” lead study author Maryam Naim, also a pediatric cardiac intensive care physician at CHOP, said in a statement.

The study team, from 2013 to 2017, utilized the Cardiac Arrest Registry to Enhance Survival database to examine factors that influence bystander CPR rates for pediatric non-traumatic out-of-hospital cardiac arrests. During that period, there was a total of 7,086 recorded cardiac arrests among children, with 31 percent occurring among white children and 31 percent among Black children.

Results revealed that overall, a total of 3,399 children received bystander CPR. However, when compared to white children, bystander CPR was 41 percent less likely for Black youth.

Additionally, Black children living in majority Black neighborhoods with high unemployment, low education, and low median income were almost half as likely to receive bystander CPR compared to white children.

The full study, “Race/Ethnicity and Neighborhood Characteristics Are Associated with Bystander Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation in Pediatric Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest in the United States: A Study From CARES,” was published in the July 10, 2019, online edition of the Journal of the American Heart Association.

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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