New study undertaken on influence of ‘weekend effect’ on critical care outcomes

7 December 2016

The British Journal of Anaesthesia has today published a study of outcomes for critically ill patients which finds that “the day of week and time of admission has no influence on patient mortality for unplanned admissions to adult general critical care units within the UK”.

The study1, a collaboration between researchers from Imperial College London and ICNARC (Intensive Care National Audit and Research Centre), using data from the national clinical audit of adult critical care2, notes that further research is required in order to improve critical care and hospital systems to minimise delays in admission – the reduction of which may potentially improve outcomes.

As a specialty which by its very nature is already delivering a seven-day-a-week public service, The Intensive Care Society and The Faculty of Intensive Care Medicine welcome the study which demonstrates both the continued importance of academia in critical care, and the dependence that much health research has on maintaining long-standing and high quality databases containing detailed patient data.

1. The association between day and time of admission to critical care and acute hospital outcome for unplanned admissions to adult general critical care units: cohort study exploring the “weekend effect”. Nishkantha Arulkumaran, David A Harrison, Stephen J Brett

 2. National clinical audit of adult critical care. Study based on 195,428 unplanned admissions from 212 adult general critical care units in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, between 1 April 2013 and 31 March 2015