Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Emergency admissions death toll significantly higher on public holidays

Date:
January 23, 2013
Source:
BMJ-British Medical Journal
Summary:
Patients admitted to hospital as emergencies on public holidays are significantly more likely to die than those admitted on other days of the week - including weekends - indicates new research.

Patients admitted to hospital as emergencies on public holidays are significantly more likely to die than those admitted on other days of the week -- including weekends -- indicates research published online in Emergency Medicine Journal.

International evidence suggests that the death rate among emergency admissions is around 10% higher at weekends than it is for other days of the week, which adds up to around 3000 extra deaths every year in England alone.

The authors wanted to find out if similar patterns were evident for patients admitted to hospital on public or bank holidays.

They therefore looked at seven and 30-day death rates among patients admitted as emergencies to one district general hospital in Scotland between January 2008 and December 2010.

The hospital in question, which is the only district general hospital in the region, serves a population of 150,000 people, and admits 6700 patients as medical emergencies every year.

During the study period, just over 20,000 people were admitted as emergencies to the medical unit. Three-quarters (77%) were admitted during the week, with the remainder admitted at weekends.

Some 5.6% of these admissions occurred on public holidays, which, with the exception of 1st and 2nd January 2008, were part of a three or four day holiday period.

Patients admitted at weekends were slightly older, less likely to have cancer, and more likely to have a respiratory problem. Those admitted on public holidays were also more likely to have a respiratory problem. But otherwise there were no distinctive differences in the caseload.

In all, 771 patients (3.8%) died within seven days of admission, while 1780 (8.9%) died within 30 days. After taking account of factors likely to influence the results, death rates were only slightly higher at weekends.

But they were significantly higher for public holiday admissions -- on weekdays and weekends -- than for other days, the analysis showed.

Some 5.8% of patients died within seven days compared with 3.7% of those admitted on other days of the week, while 11.3% died within 30 days compared with 8.7% of those admitted at other times.

This means that patients admitted as medical emergencies on public holidays were 48% more likely to die within seven days and 27% more likely to do so within 30 days.

There were no differences in senior doctor staffing between normal weekends and weekdays at the hospital -- a factor frequently cited to explain the differences in death rates between weekends and weekdays.

But public holidays are usually tagged on to a weekend, providing a three or four day holiday, resulting in what the authors refer to as a "cumulative effect."

"If we assume that patients with severe illnesses are no more likely to be admitted on any one day of the week than any other, then it becomes difficult to escape the view that a cumulative effect of lack of services and/or lack of doctors on public holidays must have a part to play in the higher public holiday mortality demonstrated in this study," they conclude.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by BMJ-British Medical Journal. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. S. Smith, A. Allan, N. Greenlaw, S. Finlay, C. Isles. Emergency medical admissions, deaths at weekends and the public holiday effect. Cohort study. Emergency Medicine Journal, 2013; DOI: 10.1136/emermed-2012-201881

Cite This Page:

BMJ-British Medical Journal. "Emergency admissions death toll significantly higher on public holidays." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 January 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130123195345.htm>.
BMJ-British Medical Journal. (2013, January 23). Emergency admissions death toll significantly higher on public holidays. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130123195345.htm
BMJ-British Medical Journal. "Emergency admissions death toll significantly higher on public holidays." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130123195345.htm (accessed August 20, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Possible Ebola Patient in Isolation at California Hospital

Possible Ebola Patient in Isolation at California Hospital

Reuters - US Online Video (Aug. 20, 2014) — A patient who may have been exposed to the Ebola virus is in isolation at the Kaiser Permanente South Sacramento Medical Center. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: World's Oldest Man Lives in Japan

Raw: World's Oldest Man Lives in Japan

AP (Aug. 20, 2014) — A 111-year-old Japanese was certified as the world's oldest man by Guinness World Records on Wednesday. Sakari Momoi, a native of Fukushima in northern Japan, was given a certificate at a hospital in Tokyo. (Aug. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Do More Wedding Guests Make A Happier Marriage?

Do More Wedding Guests Make A Happier Marriage?

Newsy (Aug. 20, 2014) — A new study found couples who had at least 150 guests at their weddings were more likely to report being happy in their marriages. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Freetown a City on Edge

Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Freetown a City on Edge

AFP (Aug. 19, 2014) — Residents of Sierra Leone's capital voice their fears as the Ebola virus sweeps through west Africa. Duration: 00:56 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins