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Worst time to check into the hospital

Weekend Surgeries Mean More Complications, Study Says

If you're planning on getting surgery soon, a new study says you really might want to choose the day careful.

Conducted by researchers at University Medicine Berlin, the results show patients are more likely to face complications following weekend or afternoon surgeries. Risk of post-surgical death on the weekend rose 22 percent and 21 percent in the afternoons. (Via Wikimedia Commons / DamonSacks)

According to the study's news release, researchers analyzed data from more than 200,000 patients from 2006 to 2011. Aside from higher risks on the weekends and afternoons, they found February to be the riskiest month to have surgery, with a 16 percent higher chance of death. (Via EurekAlert!)

In a statement, the authors explained, "it may be that standard of care differs throughout the day and between weekdays and weekends. Although we controlled for risk factors including emergency surgery in our study, it may very well be that the patients treated in the afternoon and on the weekends were more severely ill."

There have been a number of similar studies conducted over the years - including one from Japan, with similar results that was presented at the same conference as the University Medicine Berlin study. (Via HealthDay, Medpage Today, The Guardian)

But Medical Daily points out, this is "the first time, investigators have shown the same cyclic differences for post-surgical deaths."

According to the authors, the findings highlight the need for greater emphasis on patient safety. However, the study's authors did say more research is needed.

Join the discussion

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delmonster June 02 2014 at 9:15 AM

Once again the dyed - in - the - wool redneck conservatives completely ignore the article to post their illiterate ramblings about "Obamacare." That type of thinking is just plain ignorant and, I might add, typical of the followers of the Fox "talking heads."

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18 replies
akubs521 June 02 2014 at 7:51 AM

because they often don't schedule surgeries for the evenings or weekends, those are your sicker patients and emergency surgeries. those patients would have a higher mortality rate anyway..... may not be true, but it's just a thought...

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8 replies
autounionbailout June 02 2014 at 10:33 AM


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6 replies
coopdabomb June 02 2014 at 8:43 AM

With obamacare there is no good time. Lucky they will let you into hospitals

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13 replies
bilhee June 02 2014 at 8:49 AM

I disagree..I had brain surgery on a Monday morning, and it took all day..and it took me all week to get out of intensive care, so I was happy that they started Monday. I also had afternoon surgery for Prostate cancer (on-standby). I was happy to have it then because it got real aggressive from when diagnosed until removed.

Maybe the reason that afternoon surgeries have a bad rap is that doctors get tired like anybody else. Think about it

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1 reply
PEGGY bilhee June 02 2014 at 11:29 AM

Thank th person ABOVE that you are well! I am happy to read your story! There are very great Doc's out here! Sounds like you got the Best!

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bigshadyobama June 02 2014 at 10:42 AM


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3 replies
gailreardon4978 June 02 2014 at 9:49 AM

I think one of the worst months ,would be July, with all your brand new doctors who have just matriculated to the next year( say 3rd year residents) the are scared, and nervous, and it shows...

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1 reply
henry_bevis gailreardon4978 June 02 2014 at 1:12 PM

You may be right about July. But I have had very good luck with Resident Doctors. One time I had a very bad cut on my head and a Resident Surgeon was on duty in the ER.......he knew I was coming and he had a Helicopter on standby to take me to a larger Hospital. He wound up putting 60stitches in my cut.......and as a result you can't see a scar today...that happened about 20 years ago and the only thing that is wrong is that I have a little bit of numbness in the area of the cut.

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1 reply
rreggaeredkc henry_bevis June 02 2014 at 6:03 PM

That's great.

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cgssnavickas June 02 2014 at 9:39 AM

Uh, if you are brought into the emergency room and needed surgery right away, you have no say as to when to schedule it. For that matter, you don't have a say in when to schedule a surgery, period. The doctors have a set schedule as to when they perform surgeries, unless it's an emergency.

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1 reply
rreggaeredkc cgssnavickas June 02 2014 at 6:02 PM

Physicians do have dedicated days for surgery. We do have a choice in that time frame unless it is an emergency. Unfortunately, you will not be given a choice if you don't ask for it. It is best today for patients to be pro active in their care and if unable to do so, have a POA. If it is declared an emergency, they will do surgery in the middle of the night.

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CHUCK June 02 2014 at 3:29 PM

And again they come out of the wood work with their obsession with Obama. They just can't help themselves. Narrow minded morons. This article is about scheduling surgery not politics. Get a life.

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1 reply
mike CHUCK June 03 2014 at 12:35 AM

Then share something about surgeries Chuckie

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moradadavislodi June 02 2014 at 10:26 AM

Some hospitals are using contract staff in order to cut corners - workman's comp, vacation pay, overtime, etc. - in the evening and night shift positions. These people come and go and are contract workers for obvious reasons. They also fill weekends and holidays. Be sure to check out your hospital and make sure they do not use this method of employment.

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4 replies
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