Health Professional News

Children’s Minnesota expert co-authors national database study examining how racial disparities impact pre-hospital care for children experiencing cardiac arrest

Dr. Manu Madhok, trauma and emergency department physician at Children’s Minnesota, and his research team published a study that reveals children who are Black, Hispanic and other races/ethnicities experiencing cardiac arrest receive CPR from a bystander at a lower rate of 67-69% of the time, compared to 75% for white children. The National Emergency Medical Services Information Systems (NEMSIS) database collects Emergency Medical Services (EMS) run sheets data from 42 US states. For this study, pre-pandemic data from 2017-2019 was included where bystanders did or did not perform CPR on a child before EMS arrived on scene. In addition to pre-EMS bystander CPR, there are several factors that contribute to Return of Spontaneous Circulation (ROSC), and the study showed lower ROSC (20-24%) among children who are Black, Hispanic and other races/ethnicities, compared to 27.5% in white children. This study is one of the first to look at disparities in children receiving CPR from bystanders during cardiac arrest, and shows similar trends to discrepancies seen among adults. This raises an important issue, and efforts must be undertaken to explore the reasons and means to reduce these inequities.

Dr. Madhok’s study, called Age and Racial/Ethnic Disparities in Pediatric Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest, was published in the prestigious journal, Circulation, in March 2022, and also featured in an article in SFGATE. The data shows that among children who experienced out-of-hospital cardiac arrest:

  • White: 75.1% of kids received bystander CPR, 27.5% achieved ROSC.
  • Black: 67% of kids received bystander CPR, 20.1% achieved ROSC.
  • Hispanic/Latino: 68.1% of kids received bystander CPR, 24.1% achieved ROSC.
  • Other races/ethnicities: 69.2% of kids received bystander CPR, 21.3% achieved ROSC.
Cole Heath