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Non-English speakers get poorer pain management after C-sections

A woman's race and native language may influence how much and which type of pain medication she gets after a C-section, no matter how much pain she's actually experiencing, research presented in April shows.

Non-native English speakers receive fewer pain assessments and fewer medications than English speakers, the research showed. Black and Hispanic patients were negatively affected by the disparities too.

The report adds to a body of research demonstrating how systemic racism can play out in maternal and child healthcare.

The research, presented at the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists' annual conference, looked at data on 327 women who underwent cesarean deliveries at a New York hospital between January 2018 and June 2018.

Lead study author Dr. Alison Wiles and colleagues reviewed how often clinicians assessed patients' pain, how often their pain was rated severe, and how much pain medication — both non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs) and opioids (OTE) — they were given.

They excluded patients who'd had C-section hysterectomies, received general anesthesia or pain meds through a self-controlled pump, had opiate allergies, or had a history of drug use.

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