Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Timing is everything when you go to the hospital

Patients with heart failure do better if they go to the hospital on Monday or in the morning.

Death rates and length of stay for these patients is highest if they are admitted in January or on Fridays and overnight.

Researchers presented these findings in Portugal at the annual meeting of the Heart Failure Association of the European Society of Cardiology.

Get admitted on a weekend or in the middle of the night--well, this can be bad.

They looked at 14 yrs of data involving 900,000 congestive heart failutre patients. The patients were in NY between 1994 and 2007.

We know from bitter experience over here that you want to go to the ER right after shift change in the morning--around 7 AM. The staff is fresh, close to alert, and have not gotten hassled and thrown up on yet.

Of course, sometimes you can't arrange this in true drop dead emergencies.

Bad choice of words.

We call weekends at the hospital "the black hole."

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