-- Robert Preidt
TUESDAY, March 22 (HealthDay News) -- Trauma injury patients who
arrive at the hospital on the weekend or a weeknight are no more
likely to die than those who arrive on a weekday, a new study has
The findings contrast with previous research that said patients
with health emergencies such as heart attack or stroke have worse
outcomes if they arrive at the hospital at night or on
In this new study, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
researchers analyzed data from 90,461 patients treated at
Pennsylvania's 32 accredited trauma centers between 2004 and
About one-quarter of the patients arrived on weeknights and
about 40 percent arrived on weekends.
In addition to the finding that trauma patients -- including
crash victims and those who have been shot or stabbed -- appeared
to be more likely to survive if they arrived at the hospital on a
weekend, the investigators also found that patients who arrived on
weeknight and weekends needing crucial brain or abdominal
surgeries, such as those often required for trauma patients, did
not have to wait longer for care than weekday patients.
"Trauma systems have been designed to maximize rapid access to trauma care, and our results show that the system also offers special protection for patients injured during periods that are known to be connected to worse outcomes among patients with time-sensitive illnesses," study author Dr. Brendan G. Carr, an assistant professor in the departments of emergency medicine and biostatistics and epidemiology, said in a university news release.
However, patients who arrived on weeknights and weekends did
have longer intensive care unit stays, and those who arrived on
weeknights had longer hospital stays than those who arrived on
weekdays, the investigators found.
These findings may be due to hospital factors not entirely
related to the patient's condition, including greater access to
hospital resources, such as doctors' time, and more available beds
because few elective admissions and surgeries occur on weekends,
the researchers suggested.
The study was published in the March 21 issue of the
Archives of Surgery.
The World Health Organization discusses
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