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First Week of August is the Deadliest Time to be in a Hospital

Updated on: 6/1/2018

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A study suggests that the first week of August is the worst time to be admitted into a hospital. In fact, hospital mortality rates rise by six percent on the first Wednesday in August.

Why is this?

This is when the new batch of doctors enters the hospitals, fresh after graduation from medical school. The research senior author was actually a doctor, Dr. Paul Aylin. He wanted to understand these statistics and find a correlation.

“We wanted to find out whether mortality rates changed on the first Wednesday in August, when junior doctors take up their new posts,” Aylin said. “Our study does not mean that people should avoid going into hospital that week. This is a relatively small difference in mortality rates, and the numbers of excess deaths are very low.”

This may also be a time of higher mortality rate because many of the experienced doctors go on vacation during this time, leaving the amateurs to take over for a week.

The study was published in the journal PLoS and used data for almost 300,000 patients admitted as emergency patients to 175 English NHS trusts between 2000 and 2008 and
compared the death rates on the first Wednesday of August with the previous Wednesday.

The study also reveals that this increase is quite consistent throughout the years.

Does this make you cautious of hospitals in August?

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