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Hospital ICU deaths more likely on weekends

USA Today/HealthDay, July 12, 2010

Patients admitted to an intensive care unit over the weekend may be more likely to die than those admitted at other times, perhaps because of reduced staffing, a review of research finds. For the review, published in the July issue of the journal Chest, researchers examined the results of 10 studies exploring the link between time of admission to an ICU and death rates. The studies were conducted in North America, Europe and Asia. The risk could actually be as high as 13% — or as low as 4%. The review authors adjusted their statistics so they wouldn't be thrown off by differences in the severity of illness between weekday and weekend patients.