Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Use of Epidural Blood Patch for Pain Relief in Obstetric Patients

PainRelief.com:  What are the main findings?

Response: The main findings were that for patients in racial and ethnic minority groups, epidural blood patch was used less often or its use was delayed, compared with non-Hispanic white people.

PainRelief.com: What should readers take away from your report?

Response: The primary take away is that there is evidence that disparities exist with respect to the way in which postdural puncture headache is being managed among minority birthing people.

PainRelief.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work?

Response: In light of these disparities, we would like to better understand what interventions are most effective to address these disparities. Researchers should study the outcomes of such initiatives, to determine the most effective solutions.

PainRelief.com: Is there anything else you would like to add?

Response: It is incumbent on providers and institutions providing care to obstetric patients to standardize care practices to ensure that all patients who received neuraxial anesthesia/analgesia for delivery are evaluated by an anesthesia provider regarding the presence of headache before discharge. Other peripartum care providers, including obstetricians and nurses, should be trained regarding the signs and symptoms of postdural puncture headache and promptly communicate any concerns to the anesthesia providers. Patients experiencing this type of headache should receive clear information in their preferred language regarding the options for treatment, who to contact for questions after they have been discharged, and when it may be recommended to return for treatment.

Citation:

Lee A, Guglielminotti J, Janvier A, Li G, Landau R. Racial and Ethnic Disparities in the Management of Postdural Puncture Headache With Epidural Blood Patch for Obstetric Patients in New York State. JAMA Netw Open. 2022;5(4):e228520. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2022.8520

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