(Courtesy photo/Harvard University)

African American children who seemed healthy prior to surgery have been more likely to die in the weeks following the procedures than their white peers, according to a study published Monday in the Journal of Pediatrics.
Although it’s been long been known that Black patients are more likely to suffer poor outcomes after surgery than white patients, the new study suggests the disparity exists among healthy children.
“Generally, we expect that healthier patients should do well with surgeries. Healthy kids have low complication rates,” Dr. Olubukola Nafiu, the study’s lead author, a pediatric anesthesiologist and vice chair for academic affairs and research at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, said in a statement.
The study goes on to cite that among more than 172,500 apparently healthy kids who had inpatient operations between 2012 and 2017, 0.02% died within 30 days of surgery and 13.9% had postoperative
“Race doesn’t cause these outcomes, but it is strongly associated with them,” Nafiu said of the complications.

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