Researchers from Johns Hopkins recently published a report in the Journal of Surgical Research suggesting that older patients admitted to the hospital with traumatic brain injuries on the weekend are more likely to die than patients admitted with similar injuries during the work week. Researchers examined over 38 000 patient records to determine the disturbing trend. Previously, other research studies have concluded similarly worse outcomes from patients admitted during the weekends for stroke, aneurisms, heart attacks, and other serious ailments. Some researchers call this the “weekend effect.”
There are many reasons for the weekend effect, according to Johns Hopkins researchers. Many hospitals have reduced staff levels during the weekend. Many specialists are also not available during the weekends. According to study leader Eric B. Schneider, these were the main factors contributing to weekend fatality rates for head injury patients. According to Schneider, there is no medical reason for the weekend effect. Rather, it is caused by how hospitals operate during the weekend. Costs of care, types of injuries, and age of patients remained the same between weekend and weekdays, yet patients admitted to the hospital with head injuries during the weekend were 14% more likely to die from their brain injury than patients admitted during the week. This 14% figure remained the same, even when other factors that could have contributed to the fatalities was eliminated.
According to the study, almost 1.4 million people across the country each year require a hospital visit due to a head injury. About 235 000 of these patients require hospital care on an inpatient basis while 50 000 die of their injuries. Those who are over 75 years of age have the highest rate of hospitalization for this type of injury.
The research suggests that helping Miami head injury patients requires a 24/7 approach. Hospitals and clinics may need to change their policies to ensure that staffing levels and access to specialists remains the same, even during the night, on holidays, and during weekends. After all, Fort Lauderdale truck accidents and car accidents leading to serious head injury can occur at any time. Some research studies have suggested that Level 1 trauma centers may not have a weekend effect when it comes to head injury patients, since these centers have a specialized staff available around the clock. Taking patients to Level 1 trauma centers rather than local hospitals that may be understaffed during the weekend may be one way to reduce the risk of complications for Fort Lauderdale brain injury patients.
Patients who do sustain complications or medical error due to understaffing or poor hospital response may be able to pursue a Fort Lauderdale medical misdiagnosis claim. The compensation from such a claim can help pay for medical costs and other expenses related to the injury. If you think you may have a claim, contact the Flaxman Law Group to arrange a free consultation to discuss your options. The legal team at the Flaxman Law Group have decades of experience assisting head injury victims get the support and resources they need. Call today to find out what the Flaxman Law Group can do for you.