Legal Articles

June 23, 2013

Gender gap confirmed in trauma care centers

There is a gender gap when it comes to trauma treatment at trauma care centers. A recent Canadian study has confirmed this, though it has long been suspected. The study’s author, Andrea Hill, who is also a postdoctoral student at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Center and the University of Toronto, was interviewed for the news release announcing the study’s findings.

“Gender-based disparities in access to health care services in general have been recognized for some time,” Hill said, “and evidence is emerging that these disparities extend to the treatment of severe injuries in trauma centers.”

Women treated less often than men

The study analyzed data of almost 99,000 adult patients in Canada. About 33,000 of them were women who had sustained a severe injury and were seeking treatment. Researchers found that less than half of the women were given trauma center care, which was paltry compared to the 63 percent of men who did receive trauma care.

Similarities found across the injury spectrum 

The gap grew when elderly patients were looked at separately. Just 38 percent of women 65 and older received trauma center care for their injuries compared to 50 percent of men. To prevent skewed statistics, study authors controlled fro demographic and socioeconomic factors. They re-ran the study just looking at falls and car accidents and the resulting numbers were still comparable. 

Hill added, ”Our study provides yet more evidence of important gender differences in access to trauma center care for people with severe injuries. Future research should focus on the factors underlying these differences and on the effects of these disparities on patient outcomes."


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