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Health & Medicine Mortality Risk Highest Following Surgery In Afternoons, At Weekends, And In February

Mortality Risk Highest Following Surgery In Afternoons, At Weekends, And In February

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First Posted: Jun 02, 2014 10:20 AM EDT
Simple Tests Helps Predicts Who Are Likely to Experience Wound Healing Complications
Simple Tests Helps Predicts Who Are Likely to Experience Wound Healing Complications (Photo : Flickr)

The risk of death from a surgery is highest, if it is done on weekends, in the afternoons and in the month of February, a new study reveals.

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Researchers at University Medicine Berlin, Germany, found that the risk of hospital mortality is highly influenced by the day-night, weekly and seasonal cycles.

Though previous studies have revealed this in population settings and in various other regions of the world, this is the first study that shows the cyclic influence on hospital mortality among patients after surgery.

To proceed with the study, researchers analyzed the daily, weekly and seasonal variability of hospital mortality in patients after surgery. The analysis included patients who underwent surgery between 2006-2011.

In the first analysis, the researchers looked at the data of over 218,758 patients.  Hospital mortality highlighted a variability over the period of day, on various weekdays and various months. It was seen that the surgery that was done in afternoons elevated the risk of death by 21 percent compared to surgery that was done at other times of the day.

If the surgery was done at weekends, the risk of death increased to 22 percent compared to surgery done on weekdays.

The risk of death was highest during February as it was associated with 16 percent of increased risk of death when compared to other months.

Researchers plan to investigate the data further to understand the reason in variations.

The authors say, "Several factors may have influenced this outcome. For example, 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. We need more data to draw conclusions regarding seasonal variation in postoperative outcome."

Another recent analysis of 72 studies, involving over 55 million people, found that people admitted to hospitals during weekends suffer an increased risk of mortality than those who are admitted over the weekdays.

For heart failure patients, mortality and length of stay are highest if they are admitted in January, on Friday or overnight, a study presented at The Heart Failure Congress 2013 reveals.

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