Risk of post-operative death is 44% higher on a Friday than on a Monday

Dr Paul Aylin has led a research team in the Dr Foster unit at Imperial College London, who have discovered rather worrying statistics that post-operative deaths are 44% higher if operations are carried out on a Friday rather than a Monday. His research published in the BMJ this week (Day of week of procedure and 30 day mortality for elective surgery: retrospective analysis of hospital episode statistics) looked at four million operations over 3 years (2008-2011), and discovered whilst post-operative death rates were extremely low (0.67%) the risk of death post-operation increased by around 10% on each day of the week.

The research states that until more detailed research can be carried out it is difficult to come to any definite conclusions as to why the risk increases by such a high figure. However, as Dr Aylin discussed on BBC Breakfast on Wednesday, it is suspected that aftercare of patients in the critical 48 hours post-operation is most likely to blame, with services at weekends not being at weekday levels.

Read Dr Aylin’s research in full here.

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