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PSNet: Patient Safety Network
Journal Article

Weekend mortality for emergency admissions. A large, multicentre study.

Aylin P, Yunus A, Bottle A, et al. Quality & safety in health care. 2010;19:213-7.

Differences in weekend care for hospitalized patients have been reported. These differences include not only overall complications but also delays in undergoing urgent procedures, survival from in-hospital cardiac arrest, and mortality from acute myocardial infarction. This study adds to the existing literature by analyzing more than 4 million emergency department admissions to provide a broader view of the relationship between weekend admissions and clinical outcomes. Investigators discovered that patients admitted during the weekend experienced a 10% higher odds of death. The study also reported that for the 50 diagnosis groups with the highest number of deaths, 17 were associated with a significantly higher odds of mortality if admitted on a weekend. The authors estimate that nearly 3400 excess deaths during 2005-2006 could be attributed to weekend care, which exceeds the number of deaths from road accidents in Great Britain in 2006—an admittedly crude but striking comparison.