Sick women are half as likely to receive life-saving medications from traumatic injuries

Sick women are half as likely to receive life-saving medications from traumatic injuries

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Research has found that while they are equally effective regardless of gender, women may be less likely to receive certain medications or treatments. Tam/South China Morning Post via Getty Images
  • Tranexamic acid is an approved medication that can prevent severe blood loss in patients with physical or life-threatening injuries.
  • A new study shows that female patients are almost half as likely to receive tranexamic acid after a traumatic injury than males.
  • These gender differences also persist after accounting for severity of injury, risk of death from haemorrhage, and mechanism of injury.
  • The findings highlight the need for further research to understand the factors responsible for such disparities in emergency medical care.

A recent study was published in British Journal of Anesthesia indicates that female trauma patients are less likely than their male counterparts to receive life-saving tranexamic acid medication, although there was no difference in drug efficacy in male and female patients.

Study co-author Dr Ian Roberts, an epidemiologist at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, says the findings were very concerning because tranexamic acid was “the only life-saving treatment for traumatic bleeding”.

“Women were treated less frequently than men regardless of their risk of death from bleeding or the severity of their injuries. This appears to be gender discrimination, and there is an urgent need to reduce this disparity in treatment with tranexamic acid, so all patients who need the drug have a chance of receiving it.” .
Dr. Ian Roberts

The study involved researchers from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and the NHS Trust University Hospitals Plymouth in the United Kingdom.

Studies show that there are differences in health outcomes for men and women. These differences in health outcomes could arise due to biological differences between males and females. For example, gender differences may affect the metabolism and activity of drugs, affecting their efficacy or side effects.

However, gender disparities in access to health care and the quality of care provided also contribute to differences in health outcomes. Such disparities have also been observed in the provision of emergency medical care or trauma.

Studies have found that patients who suffer from chest pain less likely of their male counterparts to receive aspirin, nitroglycerin, or intravenous access from emergency medical services. Female trauma patients too peel off Males experienced longer delays in receiving trauma care and were more likely to be discharged to nursing facilities.

Given these disparities in emergency care, the current study examined gender differences in the use and efficacy of tranexamic acid in patients with traumatic injuries.

Traumatic injuries are serious physical injuries that require immediate medical attention. Common causes of traumatic injuries include traffic accidents, falls, assaults, and sports injuries. Severe blood loss and traumatic brain injury are the most common Common causes of death after a traumatic injury.

Tranexamic acid prevents excessive blood loss by preventing the breakdown of blood clots and may reduce mortality in patients with traumatic brain injury or multiple trauma. However, it was not known whether there were gender differences in the effectiveness of tranexamic acid or gender disparities in the use of this life-saving drug.

To assess potential gender differences in the effects of tranexamic acid, researchers performed an in-depth analysis of data from twoPrevious International clinical trials.

They found that tranexamic acid was similarly effective in males and females, reducing the risk of death within 24 hours of a traumatic injury by 20-30%.

The researchers then used data from the Trauma Research and Audit Network to examine whether there were differences between male and female patients who received tranexamic acid treatment for traumatic injuries.

Examining data from more than 200,000 trauma patients, researchers found that women were less likely to receive treatment with tranexamic acid for major trauma than men in both pre-hospital and hospital settings.

Furthermore, the researchers also categorized or grouped this data by age, risk of death due to haemorrhage, severity of injury, or mechanism of injury. They found that this disparity between male and female patients persisted.

Although these differences were observed across the board, gender and sex differences in tranexamic acid use were more pronounced in older women and female trauma patients with a lower risk of death from haemorrhage.

These results are notable because the survival benefit of tranexamic acid is not affected by the risk of bleeding or the mechanism of injury, but early treatments are more effective.

The factors responsible for these gender differences are not well understood.

The authors suggest that factors such as unconscious gender bias, use of stereotypes in medical education, and differences in presentation of trauma symptoms could explain these disparities in receiving tranexamic acid treatment.

Dr. Allison MacGregor, professor of emergency medicine at Brown University, explained how these biases can affect diagnosis and treatment.

“Our understanding of heart attacks, for example, is based on the teaching that heart attacks occur in middle-aged white men who experience chest pain that extends down the left arm,” she said. Medical news today.

biased education

Physicians are taught about health and disease in a biased manner. [T]Therefore, when women develop shortness of breath, nausea, and fatigue, a heart attack is not in keeping with established teachings, and therefore it is often missed.”
– Dr. Alison MacGregor

Dr. McGregor said she suspected a similar case of major trauma patients.

“Most traumatic injuries occur in men, with men often participating in high-risk activities (construction injuries, truck driving, speeding, motorcycles, etc.). If a woman experiences significant trauma, the health care team may underestimate the degree of her injuries because they do not connect High-risk trauma to women.

Study co-author Dr Tim Notbem of the University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust says that although there are significant gender differences in tranexamic acid treatment, researchers can only speculate on underlying causes with the current data.

Clinicians in the UK should be provided with clearer treatment guidelines so that we can help reduce this bias. If all patients were treated as needed, we could save 160 lives each year in the UK,” he says.

In addition to the progressive protocols of health care providers, increasing diversity in health care can reduce such gender disparities.

There are many examples now indicating that female patients get better results when they are cared for by female doctors. Women researchers are more likely to include women in research. Women book editors are more likely to include illustrations of women in medical textbooks,” said Dr. McGregor.

“Let’s make sure our emergency physicians and traumatologists are diverse to care for a diverse range of patients,” she added.

2022-05-25 18:10:50

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