Patient survival not impacted by liver transplants performed at night or on weekends

April 26, 2012, Wiley

A new study, funded in part by a grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), shows that liver transplants performed at night or on weekends do not adversely affect patient or graft survival. Findings available in the May issue of Liver Transplantation, a journal published by Wiley-Blackwell on behalf of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases, demonstrate that safety measures in place are working to protect patients.

A 1999 report from the Institute of Medicine estimated that medical errors result in up to 98,000 deaths each year with costs as high as $29 billion annually. This report prompted the medical community to investigate ways to reduce medical errors and improve patient safety. Previous studies examining patient care at night and on weekends provided conflicting results.

" have been particularly scrutinized given that these procedures are often performed after-hours due to the timing of organ availability," explains senior author Dr. A. Sidney Barritt IV with the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. "Our study advances evidence by exploring whether time of day of the affects patient outcomes."

The research team used the United Network of Organ Sharing (UNOS) database to identify 94,768 adult liver transplants reported to the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN) between 1987 and 2010. Transplants that took place after 7 p.m. and before 7 a.m. where defined as nighttime operations. Procedures that occurred between 5 p.m. on Friday and 8 a.m. Monday were considered weekend operations.

Results from this retrospective study show patient survival at 30, 90 and 365 days for nighttime operations was 96%, 93%, and 86%; weekend transplants rates were 95%, 92%, and 86%, respectively. Researchers found that patient survival rates for after hours and weekend transplants were similar to daytime and weekday operations. For weekend transplants, the rate was unchanged at 30 and 90 days, but increased slightly at 365 days. The team noted that was unaffected by nighttime transplant.

"Our findings confirm that patients undergoing liver transplants after hours or on weekends benefit from similar survival outcomes as those having procedures during a standard workday," said Dr. Barritt. "It is reassuring to patients and transplant specialists to see that patient outcomes are not affected by the timing of the transplant."

The authors, including Drs. Orman, Hayashi, Dellon and Gerber, all from UNC, attribute safety procedures, such as appropriate staffing for night and weekends, for the positive effect on patient outcomes, and suggest further research exploring specific time of transplants and available personnel is needed to remain vigilant of outcomes with off-hour .

Explore further: Study finds nighttime organ transplant surgery not associated with poorer survival after 1 year

More information: "The Impact of Nighttime and Weekend Liver Transplants on Graft and Patient Outcomes." Eric S. Orman, Paul H. Hayashi, Evan S. Dellon, David A Gerber and A. Sidney Barritt IV. Liver Transplantation; Published Online: April 22, 2012 (DOI: 10.1002/lt.23395) Print Issue Date: May 2012.

Related Stories

Study finds nighttime organ transplant surgery not associated with poorer survival after 1 year

May 31, 2011
An analysis of data on heart and lung transplant recipients indicates that patients who had transplant surgery performed at nighttime did not have a significantly different rate of survival up to one year after organ transplantation, ...

Mayo Clinic makes kidney and pancreas transplant available to HIV-infected patients

December 6, 2011
Mayo Clinic in Florida is now offering kidney and pancreas transplants to HIV positive patients with advanced kidney disease and diabetes. Evidence is now solid that HIV-positive patients have the same favorable outcome in ...

Recommended for you

Cold open water plunge provides instant pain relief

February 12, 2018
A short, sharp, cold water swim may offer an alternative to strong painkillers and physiotherapy to relieve severe persistent pain after surgery, suggest doctors in the journal BMJ Case Reports.

Study spotlights risks in anesthesiologist handoffs

February 9, 2018
Most patients are totally unaware that the anesthesiologist who put them under for surgery might not be the same one who brings them out even though that 'handoff' between the two doctors has been linked to a series of negative ...

One in five older adults experience brain network weakening following knee replacement surgery

February 7, 2018
A new University of Florida study finds that 23 percent of adults age 60 and older who underwent a total knee replacement experienced a decline in activity in at least one region of the brain responsible for specific cognitive ...

New algorithm decodes spine oncology treatment

February 6, 2018
Every kind of cancer can spread to the spine, yet two physician-scientists who treat these patients describe a paucity of guidance for effectively providing care and minimizing pain.

Patients and doctors often disagree in evaluation of surgical scarring

February 1, 2018
When it comes to the physical scars surgery leaves behind, a new study shows patients and doctors often don't assess their severity the same way. Researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania ...

Boosting a key protein to help bones that won't heal

February 1, 2018
When a patient breaks a bone, there's a possibility the fracture won't heal properly or quickly—even with the aid of pins, plates or a cast.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.