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According to a study published in the Journal of the National Medical Association racial and health disparities do not appear to impact a physician’s decision on giving an enema to children with constipation presenting to the ED.

The retrospective cross-sectional study utilized ED 2005-2016 data from the National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey (NHAMCS) in children older than 21 years old. Groups were analyzed according to race as well as insurance status. 3,168,240 children with constipation were examined at emergency departments during the study period. 12.9% (408,937) received an enema.

There was no statistically significant difference for Non-Hispanic Black and Hispanic patients to receive an enema compared to Medicaid patients, however there was no difference between Medicaid patients and private payers.

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