Surgery on weekends ups death risk

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In a first that shows cyclic influences on hospital mortality in patients after surgery, a new research says that the risk of death is the highest following surgery conducted on weekends, in the after-noon or in February.During the analysis of the data from 218,758 patients, researchers found that surgery con-ducted in the afternoon was associated with 21 percent increased risk of death compared with surgery conducted at other times of the day.Surgery at the weekend was associated with a 22 percent increased risk of death compared to surgery on weekdays.February was the high-est risk month, with surgery in February associated with a 16 percent increased risk of death compared to surgery in all other months.Several factors may have influenced this outcome.”For example, it may be that standard of care dif-fers throughout the day and between weekdays and weekends,” said Fe-lix Kork from Charite-University Medicine Berlin, Germany.”Although we controlled for risk factors includ-ing emergency surgery in our study, it may very well be that the pa-tients treated in the af-ternoon and on the week-ends were more severely ill,” he explained.”We need more data to draw conclusions re-garding seasonal vari-ation in postoperative outcome,” Kork added.The research was pre-sented at ‘Euroanaesthe-sia 2014’ seminar in Swe-den May 31-June 3.