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ICU Patients More Likely to Die on Weekends

Is there a link between the day a patient is admitted to a hospital intensive care unit (ICU) and the likelihood of dying?  According to a new study, the answer is yes.  Patients admitted to an intensive care unit over the weekend may be more likely to die than those admitted on a weekday.  The study found that patients admitted to the ICU on a weekend were 8% more likely to die than patients admitted on other weekdays.  Interestingly, the study did not show any link between the time of admission and the death rate.  For example, patients admitted during the night were not at greater risk of dying than patients admitted during the daytime.  The researchers believe that lack of staffing in the ICU over weekends may account for the higher death rate for weekend admissions.