Deaths higher for heart attack patients at night, weekends
Heart attack patients who are rushed to hospital during weekends and nights may have higher mortality compared with regular hours.
Mortality is higher, and emergency treatment takes longer, for heart attack patients who arrive at hospital during the night or at weekends compared with regular hours, says a study published on the website of British Medical Journal.
A team of researchers from US Mayo Clinic analysed the results of 48 studies involving 1,896,859 patients to assess the effects of off-hour presentation among heart attack patients.
Patients who presented during off-hours had a 5 percent relative increase in mortality (both in-hospital and 30 days after discharge) than patients who presented during regular hours, resulting in an extra 6,000 deaths every year in the US alone, said the study.
According to researchers, the findings suggest that increased mortality during off-hours is associated with factors that arise after presentation at hospital.
They suggest the hospitals should focus on improving their off-hour care, with the goal of providing consistently high-quality care 24 hours a day and seven days a week.
(Posted on 22-01-2014)