Ethnicity and prescription of analgesia in an accident and emergency department: cross sectional study
Ethnic background has no bearing on the prescription of pain relief, finds a study in this week's BMJ. Previous research has indicated that white patients may receive more pain killers than patients from other ethnic groups.
Yate and colleagues from St Bartholomew's and The Royal London Hospital reviewed the prescription notes for white and Bangladeshi patients with fractures of the arms or legs who had come to the Accident and Emergency Department at the hospital. The study took in treatment patterns for 307 patients over a period of 12 months. Three-quarters of the patients were white; 14 per cent were Bangladeshi. The authors found that there was no difference in the amount of pain relief prescribed, with 81 per cent of Bangladeshi patients and just over 78 per cent of white patients being given analgesics.
Dr Paul Yate, Department of Anaesthetics, Royal London Hospital, London Email: Pyate@aol.com