Eliminate Implicit Bias Causing Misdiagnosis and Undertreatment of Stroke in Patients of Color and Women

RESOLUTION 16-11.10


Eliminate Implicit Bias Causing Misdiagnosis and Undertreatment of Stroke in Patients of Color and Women

WHEREAS stroke is a leading cause of serious long-term disability and the fifth leading cause of death in the United States, killing approximately 130,000 people nationwide and over 13,500 citizens of California each year, and the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association (AHA/ASA) is dedicated to prevention, diagnosis and treatment to save lives from stroke,

WHEREAS in a 2014 Johns Hopkins study, it was found that women were 33 percent more likely to be misdiagnosed and people of color were 20 to 30 percent more likely to be misdiagnosed, suggesting that women and people of color are not getting the treatment currently available to men and white people and nearly 9 in 10 strokes are ischemic strokes, which are treatable if detected quickly by tissue plasminogen activator, also known as tPA, but a 2016 AHA/ASA funded study found that African American patients are 28 percent more likely and other patients of color 17 percent more likely than white patients, and women 8 percent more likely than men not to receive tPA treatment, even when they are eligible for it;

WHEREAS a May 2016 John Hopkins study established that medical errors are now the third leading cause of death, meaning it is now more important than ever to address implicit bias in our health care system, where recent research suggests that stereotypes lead to less effective care for people of color including receiving fewer recommended treatments for chronic illness, including HIV/AIDS, cancer, and heart disease;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the California Democratic Party urge that health care providers and associations acknowledge and address the growing research showing implicit bias jeopardizing the lives of people of color and women and develop training, protocols and practices to specifically address misdiagnosis of strokes in women, patients of color and younger people;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the California Democratic Party supports developing statewide standards for designating stroke centers and their transport protocol as well as creating a mandatory registry which would provide important mechanisms to monitor patterns of care and progression of disease, evaluate healthcare effectiveness and safety, and improve clinical outcomes in a real world setting.


Sponsored by CDP Chairman John Burton, American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, Senator Holly Mitchell Authored by John Burton, AD 17; Martha Escutia, AD 57; Shawnda Westly, AD 7

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Adopted by the California Democratic Party
At its 2016 Winter Executive Board Meeting
Hyatt Regency Mission Bay

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