Weekend hospital stays worse for kidney patients

Nov 19, 2010

Patients with end-stage renal disease (ESRD) who are admitted to the hospital during the weekend are at increased risk of death, according to a study presented at the American Society of Nephrology's 43rd Annual Meeting and Scientific Exposition.

"Our study highlights poor outcomes for patients with ESRD admitted over the weekend," comments Ankit Sakhuja, MD, a third year resident in internal medicine at The Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee. "Further research is needed to identify the reasons for this 'weekend effect' and to institute appropriate interventions."

Using a national database, researchers compared and other hospital outcomes for ESRD patients hospitalized on weekends versus weekdays. There were more than 800,000 ESRD admissions during 2007, with nearly one fifth admitted over the weekend.

The mortality rate for ESRD patients admitted on weekends was significantly higher than those admitted on weekdays. With adjustment for other factors—including other medical conditions and hospital characteristics—patients admitted on weekends were 17% more likely to die in the hospital compared to patients admitted during the week.

Patients admitted on weekends also experienced delays to the start of dialysis treatment: nearly one-third of a day longer than for patients admitted on weekdays.

Reduced hospital staffing and limited resources on weekends may affect the quality of care. "Weekend effects have been shown in many diseases, including acute myocardial infarction and acute renal failure," according to Dr. Sakhuja.

The results show a similar weekend effect for ESRD patients, including delays to the start of dialysis treatment. "The restricted dialysis services on weekends may result in delayed care of the fluid and electrolyte imbalances, which can result in higher mortality," says Dr. Sakhuja. "Our study stresses the need to redesign hospital staffing models to assure improved staff and dialysis availability for patients dependent on over the weekends."

The authors note that their study was based on an administrative database prone to coding errors. Because of the nature of the data, it was not possible to ascertain the reasons for poorer outcomes of dialysis-dependent patients admitted over the weekends.

Explore further: Nocturnal GERD tied to non-infectious rhinitis

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Weekend strokes may receive more aggressive treatment

Jan 11, 2010

Stroke patients admitted to the hospital on the weekend appear more likely to receive the clot-dissolving medication tissue plasminogen activator than patients admitted during the week, according to a report in the January ...

Before starting dialysis, patients need nephrologist care

Mar 25, 2009

For patients with end-stage renal disease (ESRD), receiving care from a nephrologist in the months before starting dialysis reduces the risk of death during the first year on dialysis, reports a study in the May 2009 issue ...

Recommended for you

Nocturnal GERD tied to non-infectious rhinitis

1 hour ago

(HealthDay)—Nocturnal gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) appears to be a risk factor for non-infectious rhinitis (NIR), according to a study published online March 24 in Allergy.

UK nurse cured of Ebola after receiving new treatment

4 hours ago

A British army reservist who contracted Ebola while working as a volunteer nurse in Sierra Leone has fully recovered after becoming the first patient in the world to receive an experimental new treatment.

COPD takes big toll on employment, mobility in US

4 hours ago

(HealthDay)—The respiratory illness known as COPD takes a toll on mobility and employment, with a new report finding that nearly one-quarter of Americans with the condition are unable to work.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.