Avoid weekend hospital stays if you can

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Seniors have to be careful to prevent a fall. But be especially careful on weekends.

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Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine reviewed 38,000 patient records and found that older adults admitted to a hospital on a Saturday or Sunday because of substantial head trauma were far more likely to die than those with similar injuries admitted Monday-Friday. Researchers noted that those admitted on a weekend with head injuries that were less serious than the weekday patients also were at a greater risk of dying. The findings appeared in the Journal of Surgical Research.

The researchers noted the "weekend effect" also was documented in patients admitted for heart attacks and strokes. The lead researcher said there "isn't a medical reason for worse results," but ascribed the outcome to "a difference in how hospitals operate over the weekend."

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