Report shows racial bias in resuscitating newborns

Māori, Pacifica and Indian premature babies are less likely to recieve resuscitation attempts than babies of other ethnicities, a national report has found.

The finding is part of the twelfth annual report of the Perinatal and Maternal Mortality Review Committee (PMMRC).

The report found resuscitation was tried on 92 per cent of Māori babies, 88 per cent of Pacifica babies and 86 percent of Indian babies, born from 23-26 weeks.

Other babies, of Pākehā and other European ethnicities, had a 95 per cent resuscitation rate.

The committee said institutional bias was likely responsible for the varied results.

"While the reasons for these differences by ethnicity have not been made clear in the analyses in this report, previous analysis on inequities by ethnicity in New Zealand suggest that institutional bias or implicit biases are likely to play at least some part," the report read.

The committee acknowledged a large body of work in New Zealand, including the annual report, that described the inequalities in access to care, quality of care and health outcomes for Māori and Pacifica people.

It recommended regulatory bodies enforce cultural competency training for all staff working in the maternity and neonatal workforce to address implicit bias and racism.

rnz.co.nz - Anneke Smith

Māori, Pacifica and Indian premature babies are less likely to recieve resuscitation attempts than babies of other ethnicities, a national report has found. Source: rnz.co.nz

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