Weekends in the emergency department can be challenging because of significant changes in staffing and significant increases in admissions. Several past studies have found that certain diagnoses such as stroke, heart failure, or kidney failure have a greater chance of resulting in death with the patient is admitted on the weekend rather than on a weekday.
A recent study has found that the same holds true for traumatic brain injury in older adults. The study showed that, even though traumatic brain injury patients aged 65 to 89 were less severely injured, had a shorter loss of consciousness, and carried a lower burden of comorbidity upon admission over the weekend, they were still at a greater risk of death.
The differences between weekday and weekend risks of mortality are most likely associated with having less accessibility to specialized clinicians, tests, and procedures on the weekends.
Schneider EB, Hirani SA, Hambridge HL, et al. Beating the weekend trend: Increased mortality in older adult traumatic brain injury (TBI) patients admitted on weekends. Journal of Surgical Research. (August 2012).