Getting Admitted to the Hospital on the Weekend can kill you

I am not kidding and now there is a study to back me up.

The New England Journal of Medicine just published a study titled, “Mortality among Patients Admitted to Hospitals on Weekends as Compared with Weekdays.”  The study’s authors looked at over 3.5 million hospital admissions over a 10 year period – pretty significant numbers.  You can read the results of the study here.

Why are patients at increased risk on weekends ?  Because staffing levels drop on weekends (and holidays).  Fewer people work on the weekends and the ones that do typically have less seniority with the hospital (which to me means less experience). We see many medical malpractice cases which involve the provision of negligent care or the absence of care occurring during weekends. The study reports:

  1.  The death rate for newborns is higher for babies born on weekends when compared to those born on weekdays.

  2.   The management of acute myocardial infarction (heart attack), stroke, and drug overdose may be worse for patients presenting on weekends than for those presenting on weekdays.

  3.  For ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysm, acute epiglottitis, and pulmonary embolism, the death rate among patients admitted on a weekend was higher than that among patients admitted on a weekday.

My Take:  If you can avoid being admitted to the hospital on the weekend, do it.  If you cannot wait, keep a watchful eye as bad things can and do happen!

Dan Frith

Dan Frith

Dan Frith has over 25 years of experience representing individuals and families in cases of medical malpractice throughout Virginia. He has been named "Best Medical Malpractice Attorney" by Roanoker Magazine and is a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum. To speak with Dan, contact him by email at dfrith@frithlawfirm.com.