Tags: weekend | hospital | death

Weekend Hospital Stays More Deadly

Tuesday, 14 Aug 2012 02:48 PM

Scientific researchers have confirmed what many have long suspected: Patients hospitalized with head injuries over a weekend are more likely to die than those treated Monday through Friday.
Past studies have documented the so-called “weekend effect” on patient death rates for heart attack, stroke and aneurism treatment. But the new study, by Johns Hopkins investigators, confirms that the trend also holds true for head injuries, particularly among older patients.
"There isn't a medical reason for worse results on weekends," says Eric B. Schneider, an epidemiologist at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine who led the study, published in the Journal of Surgical Research. "It's more likely a difference in how hospitals operate over the weekend as opposed to during the week, meaning that there may be a real opportunity for hospitals to change how they operate and save lives."
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For the new study, researchers examined more than 38,600 patient records across the country from 2006 to 2008. About one-quarter – 9,937 admissions – occurred on weekends.
The findings suggest reduced staffing levels or lack of ready access to specialists are factors in the higher weekend death rates after head injury.
About 1.4 million Americans are treated in hospitals for head injuries each year. More than 50,000 die annually as a result of their injuries.

© HealthDay

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Patients hospitalized with head injuries over a weekend are more likely to die than those treated weekdays.
Tuesday, 14 Aug 2012 02:48 PM
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