Sepsis, a syndrome characterized by systemic inflammation during infection, continues to be one of the most common causes of patient mortality in hospitals across the United States. While standardized treatment protocols have been implemented, a wide variability in clinical outcomes persists across racial groups. Specifically, black and Hispanic populations are frequently associated with higher rates of morbidity and mortality in sepsis compared to the white population. While this is often attributed to systemic bias against minority groups, a growing body of literature has found patient, community, and hospital-based factors to be driving racial differences. In this article, we provide a focused review on some of the factors driving racial disparities in sepsis. We also suggest potential interventions aimed at reducing health disparities in the prevention, early identification, and clinical management of sepsis.
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