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[Comment] Is hospital mortality higher at weekends? If so, why?

In the past few years, politicians, the media, clinicians, and managers have become increasingly interested in the risks involved in being admitted to hospital at weekends. Although higher neonatal mortality has been reported for babies born at weekends than for those born during the week in the USA,1 the UK,2 and Australia3 since the 1970s, the first investigation of a weekend effect in other areas of hospital care was not reported until 2001. Bell and Redelmeier4 reported higher mortality rates for weekend admissions than for weekday admissions for 23 of the 100 leading causes of death in Canadian hospitals.

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