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There is 1 comment on Your Race May Factor in Which ER an Ambulance Takes You To

  1. This is a clickbait headline as is evident from the quotes attributed to the researchers.

    As a former EMS worker who worked on the front lines for over a decade before going back to school, I will say that, at least in the city within which I worked, the EMS setting is one of the places where a person can expect to be treated with respect regardless of their race/gender/sex/age. Everyone ends up in an ambulance at least once in their life , EMS workers know this and generally treat you as if you were their own family. People become EMTs and paramedics because they want to help people and serve the community.

    And as a scientist today, I would argue that zip code level data is far too course to make the conclusion that race is predicative of ambulance destination if well controlled for in a model. What is likely being seen is a consequence of the racial segregation which exists in urban neighborhoods leading to hospitals within a zip code having non-diverse patient populations rather than some sort of systematic bias among EMS workers. In a world full of racial inequity you will see the consequences of that inequity in settings which are otherwise equalitarian.

    Lastly, that 40% do not go to the closest hospital is unsurprising. In addition to diversion. Most patients or their families express a hospital preference in my experience. And most 911 calls involve situations where a few extra minutes in fact do not matter, contrary to public perceptions. Taking a patient who is aware and oriented to a hospital they do not want to go to is called *kidnapping*, and its a criminal act.

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