Reducing racial disparities in pulmonary and critical care – UROP Spring Symposium 2021

Reducing racial disparities in pulmonary and critical care

Alex Caches


Pronouns: she/her/hers

Research Mentor(s): Thomas Valley, Assistant Professor
Research Mentor School/College/Department: Department of Internal Medicine, Michigan Medicine
Presentation Date: Thursday, April 22, 2021
Session: Session 6 (4pm-4:50pm)
Breakout Room: Room 11
Presenter: 2

Event Link


Despite recent efforts and movements for racial equity and equality in the United States, racial disparities are evident in ICU care, specifically related to medical ventilation practices. Timely and effective care for respiratory failure is essential for saving lives in ICU care, however, the effectiveness of mechanical ventilation practices is underscored by the lives of racial and ethnic minorities, who are twice as likely to develop respiratory failure as Whites. This study grasps the enduring problem in critical care of detecting, understanding, and eliminating racial and ethnic inequities through a systematic review process and meta-analyses of medical literature. An analysis of this literature yields evidence of the pervasive disparities in rates of respiratory failure between Blacks and other ethnic groups and Whites as well as the rise of mortality rates among racial and ethnic minorities. There is an urgent need to wage the knowledge gap of understanding the decision-making process of ICU clinicians and intervention called for mitigating racial disparities in ICU care, which in turn can save lives. The overall objective of the research is to reduce inequitable outcomes of respiratory failure by improving ICU care. The results of analyzing the literature are a growing part of this research that involves designing an intervention to promote racial equity in respiratory failure, prototyping through patient, family, and clinician engagement and piloting at two ICUs.

Authors: Thomas Valley, Amanda Schutz, Marilyn Li, Alex Caches
Research Method: Clinical Research

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