Uninsured Patients Twice More at Risk of Dying from Traumatic Injuries - Study

A new study has revealed that uninsured people who end up in hospitals with traumatic injuries like car crashes, falls and gunshot wounds, are twice more at risk of dying than those who have health insurance. Doctors and health authorities have been surprised by Harvard University researchers' new revelations.

"This is another drop in a sea of evidence that the uninsured fare much worse in their health in the United States", said senior author Dr. Atul Gawande. Dr. Gawande is a Harvard surgeon and a medical journalist. As per the study, adults who are uninsured are 25% more exposed to the risk of dying from any cause over time, as compared to those who are insured.

Despite the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act, also known as the "anti-dumping law", clearly stating that patients requiring immediate medical attention should not be turned away because of their inability to pay for services, experts are of the opinion that not all hospitals practice, this taking death rates in the uninsured higher. For the sake of study, data collected from 2002 to 2006 was analyzed, of over 900 trauma cases admitted in centers nationwide.

The researchers discovered that patients lacking insurance were at least 80% more at risk of death from injuries than the ones who had commercial insurance. The details of the study will be published in the November issue of Archives of Surgery, and have come at a time when the Government is looking to make health insurance available to millions more US residents.