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PSNet: Patient Safety Network

Beating the weekend trend: increased mortality in older adult traumatic brain injury (TBI) patients admitted on weekends.

Schneider EB, Hirani SA, Hambridge HL, et al. The Journal of surgical research. 2012;177:295-300.

Being admitted to the hospital on a weekend is potentially dangerous, as studies have shown that preventable complications and mortality are increased across a range of common diagnoses for weekend admissions compared with weekdays. One exception appears to be trauma, as a prior study found equal outcomes in patients with traumatic injuries regardless of the day of admission, a finding ascribed to the protocolized and closely supervised nature of trauma care. However, this study of older adults admitted with traumatic brain injury did find increased mortality for those patients admitted on the weekend, despite the fact that patients admitted on the weekend were less severely injured. A limitation of this study is that the authors were not able to analyze outcomes for patients cared for at specialized trauma centers. Nevertheless, the study adds to the considerable body of research documenting the dangers of weekend hospital admission.