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July - Wrong Month for Hospitalization

by Rathi Manohar on July 17, 2010 at 4:36 PM
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July - Wrong Month for Hospitalization

With a notable increase in fatal medication errors, July is obviously the wrong month to go into hospital, warn researchers.

July also is the only month when the number of death certificates spikes.


David Phillips, a sociology professor at the University of California at San Diego, who led one of the current studies, said July is when fresh medical residents start their new jobs, and the rise in the death rate could be attributed to errors from their inexperience.

"The best available explanation was that this increase was associated with changes associated with the new residents," The New York Daily News quoted Phillips, as telling Msnbc.com.

Phillips' study appears in the Journal of General Medicine.

In another review study, researchers learned that people admitted to intensive care on the weekend were 8 per cent more likely to die than people admitted on weekdays.

"The reason is kind of obvious. While patients don't decide when they get sick and they can't choose the day, hospitals operate as if they were the 7-11," said Norfolk, Va., internist Paul Marik, who helped conduct the study.

The difficulty of getting tests performed and the presence of less staff are likely causes of the weekend death rate spike, Marik said.

He said: "Hospitals should operate on the same level during the day as at night. People should get the same level of care every day of the week."

This study appears in the journal CHEST.

But studies like these shouldn't cause sick people to avoid seeking medical help on weekends or in July, said Dr. Joshua Rosenberg, associate director of the intensive care unit at Long Island College Hospital.

He said: "I wouldn't want to discourage anyone from going to the hospital," he said.

"More people die from not accessing medical care early than accessing it in July."

Source: ANI
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