People hospitalized on weekends more likely to get infections

Even when taking into account patient characteristics--including the severity of the condition that brought a person to the hospital--weekend hospitalizations resulted in more than a 20 percent increased likelihood of hospital-acquired conditions, such as falls and infections, when compared to weekday admissions. That's the conclusion of a large study done at the University of Southern California.

The researchers analyzed data from hospitalizations from 2002 to 2010 and found that 5 percent of the stays resulted in at least one avoidable hospital-acquired condition. They ranged from falls, which were the most common, to pressure sores and catheter associated urinary tract infections.Even though most admissions--more than 80 percent--occur during the week, preventable complications were more common on weekends. Conditions that occurred in the hospitals occurred in 5.7 percent of weekend admissions, compared to 3.7 percent of people admitted on weekdays.

These conditions were estimated to result in an 83 percent greater likelihood of higher healthcare costs and a 38 percent higher likelihood of a prolonged hospital stay.

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Sourced from: Reuters, Patients hospitalized on weekends risk more falls and infections