Patient Care

Data Show Patients Are More Likely to Die at Night, on Weekends


Clinical question: Is there a clinical difference in rates of return of spontaneous circulation (ROSC) and survival to discharge in patients with in-hospital cardiac arrest (IHCA) depending on time of day and day of the week?

Background: Current U.S. data from the American Hospital Association’s “Get with the Guidelines-Resuscitation” (AHA GWTG-R) show hospital survival is lower at night and on the weekends. However, little data exist in the U.K. describing patients already hospitalized and the outcomes of in-hospital cardiac arrest with respect to time of day and day of the week.

Study design: Observational cohort study.

Setting: One hundred forty-six hospitals in the United Kingdom.

Synopsis: Study investigators included 27,700 patients ≥16 years of age receiving chest compressions and/or defibrillation from the U.K. National Cardiac Arrest Audit (NCAA) from April 2011 to September 2013. When compared to weekday daytime, the risk-adjusted rates of ROSC were worse for weekend daytime (odds ratio [OR] ROSC >20 min. 0.88; 95% CI, 0.81–0.95) and nighttime (OR ROSC >20 min. 0.72; 95% CI, 0.68–0.76). Hospital survival had similar trends, with OR for the weekend daytime of 0.72 (95% CI, 0.64–0.80) and OR for nighttime 0.58 (95% CI, 0.54–0.63; P value for all was <0.001).

IHCAs were equally likely to occur during the day and night, and the patients were broadly similar, thus suggesting differences in outcomes were secondary to care differences. However, unmeasured patient characteristics may have affected the outcomes. Given that the study was observational, it is difficult to attribute causality, but results are similar to the large, multicenter study published by the AHA GWTG-R registry.

Bottom line: IHCAs that occur during the night or on weekends have increased odds of worse outcomes.

Citation: Robinson EJ, Smith GB, Power GS, et al. Risk-adjusted survival for adults following in-hospital cardiac arrest by day of week and time of day: observational cohort study [published online ahead of print December 11, 2015]. BMJ Qual Saf. doi:10.1136/bmjqs-2015-004223.

Short Take

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Citation: U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. Draft recommendation statement: statin use for the primary prevention of cardiovascular disease in adults: preventive medication. Available at: Published December 2015. Accessed April 1, 2016.

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