A new study of stroke sufferers in Canada found that those who were rushed to the emergency room on a weekend were 12% more likely to die than those who were admitted during the week.
The study, published in Neurology, followed 20,657 patients at 11 different Ontario stroke centers between July 1, 2003, and March 30, 2008. Patients admitted during the workweek had a 7% chance of death within seven days, compared with 8.1% of those admitted to the hospital on weekends. The findings corroborate a 2007 study of 26,676 stroke patients at 606 hospitals, which found that those admitted on weekends were 14% more likely to die than those admitted within a week of admission. (More on Time.com: 6 Common Sources of Radiation In Your Life)
The author of the current study, Dr. Moira K. Kapral of the University of Toronto, chalks up the difference to an “accumulation of small deficiencies in care,” the Los Angeles Times reports. Diminished services may include less time spent with patients due to reduced staffing, less access to specialists, and slower lab work.
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