J Clin Med. 2023 Sep 14;12(18):5973. doi: 10.3390/jcm12185973.
Nighttime and non-working days are characterized by a shortage of dedicated staff and available resources. Previous studies have highlighted that patients admitted during the weekend had higher mortality than patients admitted on weekdays ("weekend effect"). However, most studies have focused on specific conditions and controversial results were reported. We conducted an observational, monocentric, retrospective cohort study, based on data collected prospectively to evaluate the impact of the timing of NIV initiation on clinical outcomes in COPD patients with acute respiratory failure (ARF). A total of 266 patients requiring NIV with a time gap between diagnosis of ARF and NIV initiation <48 h were included. Interestingly, 39% of patients were not acidotic (pH = 7.38 ± 0.09 vs. 7.26 ± 0.05, p = 0.003) at the time of NIV initiation. The rate of NIV failure (need for intubation and/or all-cause in-hospital death) was similar among three different scenarios: "daytime" vs. "nighttime", "working" vs. "non-working days", "nighttime or non-working days" vs. "working days at daytime". Patients starting NIV during nighttime had a longer gap to NIV initiation compared to daytime (219 vs. 115 min respectively, p = 0.01), but this did not influence the NIV outcome. These results suggested that in a training center for NIV management, the failure rate did not increase during the "silent" hours.