Study suggests poorer outcomes for patients with stroke hospitalized on weekends

A study of patients with stroke admitted to English National Health Service public hospitals suggests that patients who were hospitalized on weekends were less likely to receive urgent treatments and had worse outcomes, according to a report published Online First by Archives of Neurology.

Studies from other countries have suggested higher mortality in patients who were admitted to the hospital on weekends for a variety of medical conditions, a phenomenon known as "the weekend effect." However, other studies have not identified an association between the day of admission and due to stroke, so the debate over "the weekend effect" continues, according to the study background.

William L. Palmer, M.A., M.Sc., of Imperial College and the National Audit Office, and colleagues conducted a study of patients admitted to hospitals with stroke from April 2009 through March 2010, accounting for 93,621 admissions.

Performance across five of six measures was lower on weekends, with one of the largest seen in rates of same-day brain scans (43.1 percent on weekends compared with 47.6 percent on weekdays). Also, the rate of seven-day, in-hospital mortality for Sunday admissions was 11 percent compared with a mean (average) of 8.9 percent for weekday admissions, according to study results.

"We calculated that approximately 350 potentially avoidable in-hospital deaths occur within seven days each year and that an additional 650 people could be discharged to their usual place of residence within 56 days if the performance seen on weekdays was replicated on weekends," the authors comment.

More information: Arch Neurol. Published online July 9, 2012. doi:10.1001/archneurol.2012.1030

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Weekend hospital stays worse for kidney patients

Nov 19, 2010

Patients with end-stage renal disease (ESRD) who are admitted to the hospital during the weekend are at increased risk of death, according to a study presented at the American Society of Nephrology's 43rd Annual Meeting and ...

Weekend strokes may receive more aggressive treatment

Jan 11, 2010

Stroke patients admitted to the hospital on the weekend appear more likely to receive the clot-dissolving medication tissue plasminogen activator than patients admitted during the week, according to a report in the January ...

Recommended for you

Targeted brain stimulation aids stroke recovery in mice

Aug 18, 2014

When investigators at the Stanford University School of Medicine applied light-driven stimulation to nerve cells in the brains of mice that had suffered strokes several days earlier, the mice showed significantly ...

User comments