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Editor's Choice

What to do about the “weekend effect”

BMJ 2015; 351 doi: (Published 10 September 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;351:h4840
  1. Fiona Godlee, editor in chief, The BMJ
  1. fgodlee{at}

Does being admitted to hospital at the weekend increase your risk of dying in the next 30 days compared with admission during the week? If so, is your death avoidable, and would a fully operational seven day service prevent it? A new Analysis article by Nick Freemantle and colleagues sheds some light on these questions but leaves many more to be answered (doi:10.1136/bmj.h4596).

The findings confirm these authors’ previous work published in 2012 (doi:10.1258/jrsm.2012.120009). They find that patients admitted on Saturdays and Sundays have an increased relative risk of death of 10% and 15%, respectively. They also find a smaller increased risk of …

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