Trauma patients have greater chance of survival on weekends

Patients who have been injured in car or bike crashes, shot or stabbed, or suffered other traumas are more likely to live if they arrived at the hospital on the weekend--rather than during the week, concludes a new University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine study.

The researchers said their findings also show that trauma patients who were admitted to a hospital on weeknights were no more likely to die than those who presented during the day. This contrasts with previous studies showing a so‑called "weekend effect" in which patients with emergent illnesses--such as heart attacks and strokes--fared worse when they're hospitalized at night or on weekends, according to the study published in the March 21 Archives of Surgery.

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," said lead author Brendan Carr, MD, MS, an assistant professor in the departments of emergency medicine and biostatistics and epidemiology.

The study also revealed that both weeknight and weekend hospital admissions were associated with longer intensive care unit stays. The researchers suggested this may involve hospital factors not necessarily related to a patient's condition, including greater bed availability because fewer elective admissions and surgeries occur on weekends.

For more details:
- review the Archives of Surgery study