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Surgery 'Has Growing Death Risk Through the Week'?

05/29/2013 7:14 PM

There've been reports on radio and TV news today (every bulletin I've witnessed, e.g.) about an Imperial College London study (published in the BMJ) of the relationship between the day of the week on which surgery takes place and the likely outcome, indicating that patients operated on towards the end of the week have less chance of survival than those operated on on Mondays or Tuesdays.

Having heard a surgeon on a BBC Radio 4 report this morning, I think the statistics need further analysis. He stated that he purposely scheduled surgery with more likelyhood of a bad outcome towards the end of the week, on the basis that he (and other medical practitoners) would be more likely to be available for emergency call-out during the weekend if emergency aftercare was needed, as they wouldn't be in theatre performing scheduled operations (as they would during the week), and intensive care units would be less busy.

If this surgeon is not atypical, the data could be skewed by the types of operation undertaken vs. day-of-the-week. Perhaps another example of confused causality?

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#1

Re: Surgery 'has growing death risk through the week' ???

05/29/2013 7:22 PM

Does that mean we can sign you up for Friday then??

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#2

Re: Surgery 'has growing death risk through the week' ???

05/29/2013 8:18 PM

Well, people at the end of the week are older... Okay, just a few days older, but still older.

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#3

Re: Surgery 'has growing death risk through the week' ???

05/29/2013 9:09 PM

Given the state of many health care providers around the world you may be lucky to get surgery in a timely manor at all.

There is always a risk (doctors are after all only human), Friday is better than nothing.

Jack - And not a single doctor golf joke to be seen.

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#4

Re: Surgery 'has growing death risk through the week' ???

05/30/2013 12:37 AM

Doctors are the only people allowed to bury their mistakes......

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#5

Re: Surgery 'has growing death risk through the week' ???

05/30/2013 2:19 AM

Seeing as how most hospital menus run on a weekly schedule one could doubtless link the causality to the food.
I think there may be a hint of truth in it as the aftercare is liable to tail off over the weekend.
Like you say there sould be loads of different reasons...
I like the Dilbert cartoon where his boss is complaining that 20% of all absenteeism is on a Monday or Friday.

Anyhow, it's obviously much healthier to be dead, as dead people have no illness or accidents.
Del

(BTW Am I the onlyone who thinks 'outcomes' is pretentious... what's wrong with good old 'results'?
A thourough survey by KrisDel's statistical dep't showed a 100% correlation between results and outcomes (monday to friday excluding lunchtimes)

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#6
In reply to #5

Re: Surgery 'has growing death risk through the week' ???

05/30/2013 4:41 AM

Dammit! Fell into the old 'pretence' trap.

(But consensus on't web seems to be that an outcome is the result of an action, so I think I've just dug meself out again).

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#7
In reply to #4

Re: Surgery 'has growing death risk through the week' ???

05/30/2013 10:40 PM

You haven't seen some of the sewer jobs I've been involved with. Talk about burying your misteaks, er mistsakis, errors!

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#8
In reply to #6

Re: Surgery 'has growing death risk through the week' ???

05/30/2013 10:42 PM

Sorry friend, the web is full of pretention! Back into the hole with you!

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#9

Re: Surgery 'Has Growing Death Risk Through the Week'?

05/31/2013 8:41 PM

Perhaps this is due to the fact that the surgeons are fresh after the week end and are more efficient at their work.

In Hindu literature, the timing of medication, including the lunar day, whether it is before new moon or full moon, the time of the day and of course the week are all taken into account. In fact, there are special institutes who have the astrological charts prepared for the patients, before treatment is commenced. Members must be familiar with specific precious stones that tell on the health.

The fact that there is so much more to know than what we know now, and each moment produces more knowledge that could appear bizarre, but has some sense.

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#10

Re: Surgery 'Has Growing Death Risk Through the Week'?

06/06/2013 10:46 AM

I would prefer a Tuesday(Monday the Surgeon might be hung over from a Sunday night party), not Wednesday ,(he might have a 4-some Tee off scheduled and be in a hurry) yes for a Thursday ( he's relaxed from having his 18 or 27 holes gotten in and probably not anticipating anything special on a Thursday night) but not Friday since he might be looking to get an early start for a long weekend and be in a hurry.

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