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Head Injuries Are Deadlier on Weekends

Posted in Blog on May 25, 2013

Accident victims who suffer a head injury are at a much higher risk of succumbing to those injuries if the accident has occurred during the weekend.  According to new research by the Johns Hopkins University, the risks of succumbing to injuries on a weekend are especially high for senior citizens.

There has been other research in the past that has found an association between a high risk of succumbing to conditions like heart attack and stroke when these occur during weekends.  This new study finds an association between head trauma and a higher fatality risk on weekends too.

The researchers studied more than 30,000 patient records, and found that patients were 14% more likely to die of head injuries during weekends, compared to patients who were injured on weekdays.  The research comes up with some intriguing findings.  The high risk of fatality seemed to exist even if the injuries were less severe. The difference in the prognosis for the patient existed even though the medical expenses of the patient were the same on weekdays, as well as weekends.

The reason for this increased risk on weekends is mainly that many hospital emergency rooms are not staffed to full during weekends.  Several healthcare facilities have schedules that allow fewer staff members on weekends.  That means fewer personnel available to treat a person who arrives at the hospital emergency room with severe head trauma after an automobile accident or fall.

Head injuries belong to a category of trauma- related injuries that demand urgent medical care within one hour after the injury.  The longer a patient’s diagnosis and treatment are delayed, the stronger the risk of long-term damage.  Further, on weekends, hospitals may not have access to super specialty surgeons like neurosurgeons to help reduce the risk of fatality.