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Death Rates In Hospital Highest For Infants, And Uninsured Children

Posted Dec 20 2008 5:42pm

The vast majority of children who die while hospitalized are newborns, according to a new nationwide study. Additionally, death rates are higher for hospitalized children without insurance compared to those with insurance, the researchers found.

Children who were transferred between hospitals also had significantly higher mortality rates, according to the study, which was co-authored by Matthew M. Davis, M.D., M.A.P.P., associate professor of general pediatrics and internal medicine at the Child Health Evaluation and Research (CHEAR) Unit of the U-M Medical School; and Rachel N. Caskey, M.D., M.A.P.P., of the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine. The study appeared recently in the Journal of Hospital Medicine.

“As health care providers and institutions expand their efforts to meet the needs of severely ill children and their families, they need to be aware of the higher mortality rates among the youngest children, those without insurance coverage and those who are transferred from one hospital to another,” notes Davis, who also is the director of the C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health and associate professor of public policy at the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy at U-M.

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