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This article addresses the racial and ethnic inequalities related to acute management and survivorship care in minority and socioeconomically disadvantaged populations. The authors discuss several barriers that make it difficult for these populations to have maximally effective interaction with the healthcare system, including limited access to care and particularly to specialty providers, language barriers, and financial constraints.
Resource allocation in acute care settings may be based on models created using a population that does not effectively represent minorities, leading to inequality. Finally, survivorship following extensive critical illness in COVID-19 is bound to be associated with post-ICU syndrome and other deficits requiring ongoing medical attention and support, which can be subject to similar and additional barriers.
– Amy S. Korwin, MD
This abstract is available on the publisher's site.
Since the first US death from COVID-19 in February to now over 179,000 US deaths1, COVID-19 has disproportionately impacted historically disadvantaged communities of color. Countrywide data, in rural and urban populations, reveal that African American and LatinX individuals suffer more infections and higher mortality2. COVID-19 has also severely impacted the Navajo nation3. These trends reflect legacies of structural racism, unequal resource investment and systems which perpetuate health disparities. As pulmonary and critical care physicians we have participated in our healthcare system trying to adapt to the demands of crisis care and are concerned that baseline inequities in our health system are amplified by the crisis. Here we highlight our specific concerns regarding racial/ethnic inequities in acute care delivery and access to care after the acute critical care period.