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Yale study finds Black children most likely to be physically restrained in emergency department visits

September 13, 2021

A new paper by Yale researchers finds racial disparities in the use of physical restraints on children who are admitted to the emergency department. Black children are more likely than White children to be subdued with restraints during ED visits, the study finds. Published September 13 in JAMA Pediatrics, the study looked at data from 11 EDs across New England between 2013 and 2020. Their sample included over 551,000 visits of patients ages 0 to 16, in which physical restraints were used 532 times. According to their analysis, Black pediatric patients were 1.8 times more likely to receive a physical restraint than a White patient. Boys were more likely than girls to be restrained. The results mirror those in another Yale-led study that looked at the use of restraints on adults in the ED, and found that Black males who lacked insurance were more likely than patients of other racial demographics to be physically restrained.

Submitted by Sarah Englehardt on September 14, 2021