Too often the institutions we trust to save our lives, end them with implicit bias. Unjust housing practices placed us in the worst areas, exposing our communities to deadly health conditions only to be dismissed when we seek healthcare.
On February 25, 2018 a beautiful soul ascended.
We always knew Kandis would be the best mom. For years she dealt with fibroids. Seeking the care of a specialist, she became a patient at University of Michigan. They felt a single procedure removing every fibroid would be most effective. It was an outpatient surgery, and when she returned home, recovery was tough. 16 days after the surgery she collapsed. I held her and watched as she took shallow quick breaths and was disoriented. The EMT's arrived and my mom told them that Kandis recently had surgery.
They checked her breathing and said everything was clear- she was fine. Claiming she only needed to calm down because she was having an anxiety attack, as though she was exaggerating. Upon admission to the hospital, they treated her with anxiety medication. They never heard her and a few hours later, she was gone. They wasted precious time dismissing her. There was a blood clot that traveled to her lung and there was no longer anything they could do.
I relive that day, everyday.
The EMT's, Nurses and Doctors have all moved on, our family never will.
In the U.S., Black mothers die at rates similar to those of women in lower-income countries whereas the mortality rate for White U.S. mothers closely resembles rates in more affluent nations.
Venous thromboembolism (VTE), a term referring to blood clots in the veins, is an underdiagnosed and serious, yet preventable medical condition that can cause disability and death.
Know your risk for blood clots. The first and most important thing you can do to protect yourself from a life-threatening blood clot is to learn if you are at risk.
Blood clots are preventable, yet an estimated 900,000 Americans are affected each year, resulting in nearly 100,000 deaths
ASH plays a vital role in influencing policies that affect researchers, clinicians, and patients by educating lawmakers on critical issues affecting hematology research and practice.
We experience pain too, our skin is not thicker, we love, we grieve, we matter!
The Tuskegee experiment began in 1932, at a time when there was no known treatment for syphilis, a contagious venereal disease. After being recruited by the promise of free medical care, 600 African American men in Macon County, Alabama were enrolled in the project, which aimed to study the full progression of the disease.
The participants were primarily sharecroppers, and many had never before visited a doctor. Doctors from the U.S. Public Health Service (PHS), which was running the study, informed the participants—399 men with latent syphilis and a control group of 201 others who were free of the disease—they were being treated for bad blood, a term commonly used in the area at the time to refer to a variety of ailments.
In order to track the disease’s full progression, researchers provided no effective care as the men died, went blind or insane or experienced other severe health problems due to their untreated syphilis.
Born in 1813, James Marion Sims became the father of Modern Gynecology after performing countless surgeries on Black enslaved women. He interned under a doctor and quickly relocated to Montgomery, Alabama after killing his first two patients.
Sims began performing surgeries on enslaved women for their owners and for a long time, his fistula surgeries were not successful.
After 30 operations on one woman, a 17-year-old enslaved woman named Anarcha, he finally “perfected” his method—after four years of experimentation. Afterward, he began to practice on white women, using anesthesia, which was new to the medical field at the time.
While some doctors didn’t trust anesthesia, Sims’ decision to not use it—or any other numbing technique—was based on his misguided belief that Black people didn’t experience pain like white people did. It’s a notion that persists today.
Henrietta Lacks suffered from aggressive cervical cancer and sought help from Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland. hey took samples of her cancerous cells while diagnosing and treating the disease. They gave some of that tissue to a researcher without Lacks’s knowledge or consent. In the laboratory, her cells turned out to have an extraordinary capacity to survive and reproduce. They were called "immortal". The researcher shared them widely with other scientists, and they became a workhorse of biological research. Today, HeLa cells are used everywhere in modern medicine.
However none of the companies that profited from her cells passed any money back to her family. And, for decades after her death, doctors and scientists repeatedly failed to ask her family for consent as they gave her medical records to the media, and even published her cells’ genome online. Her family still hasn't been paid 70 years later.
This study provides evidence that false beliefs about biological differences between blacks and whites continue to shape the way we perceive and treat black people—they are associated with racial disparities in pain assessment and treatment recommendations.
Most pregnancy-related deaths are preventable yet Black women and American Indian/Alaska Native are 2 to 3 times more likely to die from a pregnancy-related cause than white women. For women over 30, likelihood of death is 4 to 5 times higher.
This article highlighted how health disadvantages add up to a lifespan that's cut short: black men can expect to live five years less than white men, and black women can expect to live four years less than white women.
Most of the content on this page has been obtained from other sources. For a deeper dive into the data, please click the links below each section. Every researcher deserves credit and we believe in acknowledging and appreciating them.