Weekend versus weekday hospital deaths: Analysis of in‑patient data in a Nigerian tertiary healthcare center
AbstractAim: This study aims at comparing weekday deaths to weekend deaths of in‑patients of a tertiary hospital in Nigeria.
Materials and Methods: This is a 10‑year retrospective survey conducted at the Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital in which the death records of the hospital were accessed from the various wards and health records department to extract relevant data pertaining to the time of hospital death. Tests of statistical significance were done using Chi‑square test at 95% confidence intervals.
Results: A total of 3934 deaths were recorded during the period of study. The ages ranged from a few hours to 94 years with a mean age of 38.5 years. The male to female ratio was 1.2:1. An average of 547 weekend deaths and 568 weekday deaths were recorded, giving a ratio of 0.96:1. A ratio of weekend to weekday death rate of 0.99:1 and 0.93:1 for the males and females, respectively was noted. The labor ward, followed by the intensive care unit (ICU) had the highest weekend to weekday death ratio of 1.72:1 (P = 0.0461) and 1.41:1 (P = 0.1440), respectively. Weekend deaths were less in the other wards, with the gynaecological ward having the least ratio of 0.63:1 (P = 0.7360).
Conclusion: The rate of hospital deaths was generally found not to vary significantly over the weekends and weekdays in the hospital except for the labor ward which had significantly higher weekend to weekday death rates of 1.72:1. There is therefore need for confidential enquiry into the causes of hospital deaths, especially in the labor ward, in order to identify and prevent avoidable deaths.
Keywords: Hospital deaths, in‑patients, weekend deaths
Nigerian Journal of Clinical Practice • Oct-Dec 2013 • Vol 16 • Issue 4