April 19, 2021
Maori trauma death rate alarms watchdog
The Perioperative Mortality Review Committee wants district health boards to conduct an in-depth review into all cases of major trauma resulting in hospitalisation in Māori aged 15-18 years.
The committee, which reviews deaths related to surgery and anaesthesia, says Māori youth aged between 15 and 18 years were three times more likely to die in the 30 days following major trauma than non-Māori in the same age group.
Its ninth report published today says Māori were 37 percent more likely than non-Māori not to get an initial CT scan and 56 percent more likely to die in the first 30 days following major trauma that did not involve serious traumatic brain injury.
It recommends Te Hononga Whētuki ā-Motu, the National Trauma Network, develops a national consensus guideline on prioritising CT scans for trauma cases to ensure unconscious bias and institutional racism do not result in inequitable health outcomes for Māori.
Committee member Dr Dick Ongley says the reviews should consider the roles implicit bias and institutional racism play in producing the inequities found and detailed in the report.
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