Past studies have concluded that trauma center patients in need of emergency services have better outcomes if they are treated on a weekday. A new study conducted by University of Pennsylvania researchers, however, found that the opposite may be true.
In the latest study, researchers pored over data collected from more than 90,000 patients who received care for catastrophic injuries among others at the 32 accredited trauma centers in Pennsylvania. Twenty-five percent of those patients arrived at the trauma centers on weeknights, and 40 percent arrived over a weekend.
According to the research, trauma patients who arrived for treatment on a weekend, including those who had been wounded in such incidents as a car accident or shooting, seemed to have greater survival rates. They also found that the waiting time for patients who arrived on weeknights or weekends was not any longer than the wait that weekday patients experienced.
The study’s sponsor, a medical malpractice attorney in Philadelphia, said that trauma centers have been designed to ensure that trauma patients receive quick access to the care they need. She also mentioned that centers have taken special care to make sure that patients arriving at times considered to have worse outcomes – weekends and weeknights – are given quality treatment.
Despite better outcomes, the study also found that patients who arrived on weekends and weeknights often ended up having to spend more time in the hospital than those arriving on a weekday. Researchers mentioned, however, that this may be more closely related to the availability of resources in the hospital at those times, including things like available beds and doctors’ availability.