Survival Rates of In-Hospital Heart Attacks Lower on Evenings and Weekends: New Study

As a hospital patient, youre significantly less likely to survive a heart attack on night and weekend shifts, according to a new study published in a recent edition of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). 

For the purposes of research, "night" was defined as 11:00 p.m. to 6:59 a.m., and "weekend" ran from 11:00 p.m. on Friday to 6:59 a.m. on Monday.  The study, which accounted statistically for routine physiological changes that people experience at different times of the day, demonstrates that survival rates are greatest during daylight hours on weekdays.

Authors of the study advise that this particular study was not designed to determine why survival rates are lower during nights and weekends, but suggest that staffing patterns, availability of certain medical procedures and other health system design issues are likely to blame.  Overall survival rates following cardiovascular events on nights and weekends was 14.7%, compared to 19.8% on weekdays. 

According to the Institute of Medicine (IOM), 98,000 preventable, in-hospital deaths occur every year.  The agency also has determined that the rate of medical errors in U.S. hospitals is higher at night. 

Previously on the DC Metro Area Medical Malpractice Law Blog, we have posted articles related to:

  • Winter tips for preventing and recognizing heart attack and stroke
  • Evidence that most hospital telephone operators dont recognize stroke symptoms
  • How physicians off-duty answering services can put patients at risk

For information about your legal rights, please click here or call the law firm of Regan Zambri & Long, PLLC at 202-463-3030. 

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