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Most Transgender Patients Neglected in Emergency Departments

Update Date: Mar 12, 2014 05:00 PM EDT

Most transgender patients report that they have had negative experiences in the hospital emergency department.

Researchers from Western University studied 408 transgender people in Ontario, Canada. Researchers said 214 of the participants were female-to-male and 195 were male-to-female.

The study revealed that more than one in five transgender people report they have avoided the emergency department in a potential medical emergency because they feared suffering negative consequences.

Furthermore, more than half those who did go to the emergency department said they experienced at least one discriminatory experience like having a doctor refuse care, or refuse to examine parts of their body while presenting in their felt and core gender.

The study also found that 32 percent of respondents said they have experienced hurtful or insulting language and 31 percent were told the healthcare provider didn't know enough to give them care.

"As far as we're aware, this paper represents the first published paper to examine the experiences of transgender patients in emergency department settings, and is based on data from our longstanding project, Trans PULSE," first study author Greta Bauer, PhD, an associate professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at Western's Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry, said in a news release.

The findings are published in the journal Annals of Emergency Medicine.

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