Jump to Navigation

Surgery Deaths Higher on Fridays and Weekends

Photo of Armand Leone

Elective surgery deaths occur at a significantly higher rate when surgery is performed on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday. Worse outcomes for patients admitted on weekends compared with weekdays measured by death and length of stay are explained as the "Weekend Effect". A recent study in the British Medical Journal confirmed the higher risk of death and complications for surgeries done at the end of the week and on weekends. The risk of dying from surgery on Saturday or Sunday was almost double the risk (82% higher) when surgery was performed on Monday. The risk of dying from surgery on a Friday was 44% higher than on a Monday. The elective surgeries that were looked at were colon resection, coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG), repair of abdominal aortic aneurysm, lobectomy or lung resection and a single combined group that included hip replacement, knee replacement, inguinal hernia repair, varicose vein stripping and ligation, tonsillectomy, femoral hernia repair and abdominal wall hernia repair.

One likely reason for the higher number of surgery deaths on Fridays and weekend is that serious complications are most likely to occur in the first 48 hours after an operation. Since the medical staff attending to patients in hospital is smaller on the weekend and often "covering physicians" are rendering the care, it is not surprising that detrimental changes in patients' conditions are not as readily noticed and acted upon. Furthermore, frailer patients (such as older patients and patients with multiple co-morbidities) are at an even higher risk of dying when surgery is done on the weekend.

Britcher Leone & Roth understands that surgical errors both in the operating room and in the post-surgical period can cause catastrophic injury and death. However, only a careful analysis of the medical record can tell if a bad outcome or death after surgery was caused by error or neglect of a patient's change in condition.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

"The mission of Britcher Leone, LLC is to unite the professional disciplines of medicine and law to help the victims of physicians' malpractice and serious personal injury restore their future and the future of their families." RSS FindLaw Network
Verdicts & Settlements
  • $1,237,004 Verdict for Failure to Properly Treat
  • $42 Million Dollar Vaccine Injury Structured Settlement
  • $5.7 Million Obstetrical Malpractice Structured Settlement
  • $3.8 Million Present Value Pediatric Urological Surgery Settlement
  • $3.38 Million Gross Medical Malpractice Verdict
  • $1.65 Million Present Value Spinal Surgery Settlement
  • $5.2 Million Obstetrical Malpractice Structured Settlement
  • $40 Million Vaccine Structured Award
  • $19 Million Vaccine Structured Award
  • $2.5 Million Failure to Timely Diagnose Breast Cancer Verdict
  • $16 Million Obstetrical Malpractice Structured Settlement
  • $13.6 Million Obstetrical Malpractice Structured Settlement
  • $3.5 Million Resort Negligence Settlement
  • $60 Million Flu Vaccine Structured Settlement
  • $2 Million Wrongful Birth/Wrongful Life Settlement
  • $3.5 Million Present Value Wrongful Death Settlement
  • $1.59 Million Medical Malpractice Judgment
  • $800,000 Recovery Failure to Treat Eye Infection and Vision Loss
  • $1.35 Million Wrongful Death Settlement
  • $1.2 Million Failure to Provide Adequate Security Settlement
  • $850,000 Settlement for Brachial Plexus/Shoulder Dystocia Injury
  • $1 Million Podiatric Malpractice Judgment
  • $863,000 Orthopedic Malpractice Judgment
  • $850,000 Radiology Malpractice Settlement
  • $800,000 Cardiology Malpractice/Wrongful Death Settlement
View All Verdicts
Google+ LinkedIn Uniting Medicine & Law | Rebuilding Your Future