DON’T HAVE A HEART ATTACK ON THE WEEKEND!

For that matter don’t get sick on the weekends or at other dangerous times! What are we talking about? Well, a recently published study found that heart-attack patients admitted to a hospital on Saturday or Sunday are at a greater risk of dying than those same patients when admitted between Monday and Friday. The report, which reviewed the outcomes of more than 230,000 patients hospitalized over a 16 year period, found those admitted on the weekend were also less likely to be treated with the invasive cardiac procedure known as angioplasty, a procedure often recommended by heart specialists. Read the report published in the New England Journal of Medicine here.

To say the results of this study are important would be an understatement! Most cardiac specialists believe early intervention is critical to the survival of heart-attack victims. The American Heart Association reports that 865,000 adult patients suffered a heart-attack in 2004. 157,550 of those heart-attacks proved to be fatal.

Other dangerous times in hospitals include shift changes and holidays. Remember, most hospital nursing staffs work 7AM – 3PM, 3PM – 11PM, or 11PM – 7AM. Each arriving shift is supposed to take “report” from the departing shift and learn about the status of the patients they will be taking care of during their shift. We have seen many preventable tragedies, including deaths, occur as a result of poor or missed communications between shifts. On holidays, many hospitals are short-staffed or working with temporary nurses.

Be vigilant of the hospital process…your life may depend on it!

Dan Frith

Dan Frith

Dan Frith has over 25 years of experience representing individuals and families in cases of medical malpractice throughout Virginia. He has been named "Best Medical Malpractice Attorney" by Roanoker Magazine and is a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum. To speak with Dan, contact him by email at dfrith@frithlawfirm.com.