New study finds higher death rates for weekend hospital stays
According to a study, people who stay in hospital over a weekend are at an increased risk of dying.
Previous research has picked up on the 'weekend effect', in which people are more likely to die if they are admitted to hospital at the weekend.
This new study, published in the European Respiratory Journal, tested this phenomenon among people who stayed in hospital over a weekend, regardless of the day on which they first arrived.
The researchers studied the medical records of over 300,000 people aged 50 years and older who spent time in hospital with COPD or pneumonia between 1990 and 2007.
They found that, even if patients first arrived at the hospital on a weekday, there was an increased risk of dying if they stayed over a weekend, an effect that seemed to begin on Fridays.
These results could be down to reduced quality of care, or reduced access to high-quality care, at weekends.