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Health Equity Through the Lenses of Intersectionality and Allostatic Load

Updated: Oct 9, 2020


Although the term health equity is widely used, a common understanding of this term is lacking. Viewing health equity through the lenses of allostatic load and intersectionality could help. This blog post considers three case scenarios, all of which are composites of actual cases that have occurred within the United States, to explore ideas of health equity related to intersectionality and the concept of allostatic load.


Case 1:

A young, black woman was admitted to Labor & Delivery and progressing well in her own labor. Shortly after admission, the "rapid response" call light went off from the patient’s room, when the nurse noted fetal heart rate deceleration and maternal discomfort. The nurse performed a vaginal exam, noted a prolapsed umbilical cord, and the patient was taken to the operating room. A prolapsed umbilical cord, if not acted upon immediately, will stop oxygen flow to the baby, resulting in fetal demise.