Weekend admission and mortality for gastrointestinal disorders across England and Wales.

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Weekend admission and mortality for gastrointestinal disorders across England and Wales.

Br J Surg. 2017 Nov;104(12):1723-1734

Authors: Roberts SE, Brown TH, Thorne K, Lyons RA, Akbari A, Napier DJ, Brown JL, Williams JG

BACKGROUND: Little has been reported on mortality following admissions at weekends for many gastrointestinal (GI) disorders. The aim was to establish whether GI disorders are susceptible to increased mortality following unscheduled admission on weekends compared with weekdays.
METHODS: Record linkage was undertaken of national administrative inpatient and mortality data for people in England and Wales who were hospitalized as an emergency for one of 19 major GI disorders.
RESULTS: The study included 2 254 701 people in England and 155 464 in Wales. For 11 general surgical and medical GI disorders there were little, or no, significant weekend effects on mortality at 30 days in either country. There were large consistent weekend effects in both countries for severe liver disease (England: 26·2 (95 per cent c.i. 21·1 to 31·6) per cent; Wales: 32·0 (12·4 to 55·1 per cent) and GI cancer (England: 21·8 (19·1 to 24·5) per cent; Wales: 25·0 (15·0 to 35·9) per cent), which were lower in patients managed by surgeons. Admission rates were lower at weekends than on weekdays, most strongly for severe liver disease (by 43·3 per cent in England and 51·4 per cent in Wales) and GI cancer (by 44·6 and 52·8 per cent respectively). Both mortality and the weekend mortality effect for GI cancer were lower for patients managed by surgeons.
DISCUSSION: There is little, or no, evidence of a weekend mortality effect for most major general surgical or medical GI disorders, but large weekend effects for GI cancer and severe liver disease. Lower admission rates at weekends indicate more severe cases. The findings for severe liver disease may suggest a lack of specialist hepatological resources. For cancers, reduced availability of end-of-life care in the community at weekends may be the cause.

PMID: 28925499 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

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