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    Health: Will You Get Better Hospital Care on Weekdays?
    Author: admin  View count: 662  Add Time: 2011-09-28

     

    You've crashed your car on rural road at 2 a.m. on a rainy Saturday. Seriously injured and in pain, you are hauled into a noisy ambulance, then, because you're so far from the nearest trauma center, into a waiting helicopter. You finally make it through the hospital doors just before 3 a.m. and are greeted by a team of able doctors and nurses wearing blue paper gowns and masks who descend on you like a swarm of bees. As you drift into a deep chemically induced sleep, you feel thankful that a well-organized, coordinated system was in place to save you in the middle of the night. And on a weekend, no less. 
     
    It turns out, however, that your confidence may not be so justified. For years, studies have shown that health outcomes - like recovery from heart attacks or procedures requiring time in intensive-care units - for patients who are rushed to emergency rooms at night or on weekends aren't as good as for those who are treated during so-called working hours. But a recent study in the Archives of Surgery found that outcomes for injured patients in Pennsylvania are remarkably similar when comparing weekdays with weeknights, and that they are actually slightly better on weekends compared with weekdays. It was one of the first to demonstrate that for trauma, there is no "night-weekend effect" whatsoever, at least in Pennsylvania, which has a well-developed trauma system. 
     
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