If you are a patient due for surgery, you may want to avoid getting admitted into the hospital on weekends. You also want to avoid surgeries or hospital admissions during afternoons, and avoid surgery in February. According to two recent studies, patients who are admitted into a hospital on weekends, afternoons, and in the month of February, seem to have a much higher risk of dying after surgery.
The studies were presented recently at a European Society of Anesthesiology conference in Stockholm in Sweden. The study was based on data involving more than 219,000 patients who had undergone surgery between 2006 and 2011.
The study clearly found that the likelihood of death after surgery seemed to increase when patients had undergone surgery in the afternoon. They were 21% more likely to die of surgical complications than those who were operated on during other times of the day. Patients, who were operated on during the weekend had a 22% higher likelihood of fatality after surgery, compared to those who were operated on during weekdays. The month of February was the most dangerous month of the year to have a surgery. Patients who had surgery during this month were 16% more likely to die after surgery, compared to those operated on during other months.
The researchers speculate it is likely hospital standards of care drop during the afternoon and on weekends. Earlier studies have investigated the fact that hospital care at many facilities seems to drop on weekends. That's because many hospitals choose to maintain minimum working staff on weekends and that negatively impacts patients who may have to undergo emergency surgery.
It could also be persons in the study, who were admitted on weekends, or afternoons, were much sicker than those who were admitted during other times. The researchers have not drawn a clear and conclusive link between admissions during these times and higher fatality risks, but the research does indicate a higher risk of dying during these times.