Weekend admissions and other stories

BMJ 2013; 347 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.f7129 (Published 04 December 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;347:f7129

Weekends are dangerous times to come into hospital, we are told. In New South Wales, Australia, weekend admissions through the emergency department accounted for 27% of all admissions and 28% of all deaths—which on the face of it doesn’t seem bad (BMJ Quality and Safety 2013, doi:10.1136/bmjqs-2013-002218). And in an analysis of diagnosis related groups, only 16 of 430 showed a significantly increased risk of death after weekend admission; but these accounted for 40% of the excess mortality. The conditions you do not want weekend admission for include stroke, cardiac arrest, pulmonary embolism, and several cancers.

Paracetamol is everybody’s favourite analgesic, and traditionally nobody can say a word against it, except a few people in liver units. Alas, therapeutic doses of paracetamol in pregnancy might not be as safe as we have been taught to believe. In a Norwegian case-control study, long term use of paracetamol during gestation emerged as significantly associated with adverse developmental outcomes at 3 years of age (International Journal of …

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