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Cardiac Patients Admitted During Week More Likely to Survive

Those going to hospital on weekend faced 13.4% lower chance of recovery, study finds

WEDNESDAY, April 16 (HealthDay News) -- Your chances for surviving a cardiac arrest are 13.4 percent worse if you are admitted to the hospital on the weekend versus a weekday, according to new research.

Even after taking into account factors such as hospital size and location and the person's age, gender and other illnesses, the lower survival rate remains the same.

"A higher death rate among patients admitted on weekends may be due to lack of resources for treating cardiac arrest," study author Richard M. Dubinsky, of the University of Kansas Medical Center in Kansas City, said in a prepared statement.

The findings come from researchers analyzing a national database containing a 20 percent sampling of all U.S. hospital admissions for cardiac arrest from 1990 to 2004. The analysis included 67,554 admissions. During cardiac arrest, the heart slows or stops working, and brain death can occur in just four to six minutes.

Dubinsky's study, expected to be presented Wednesday at the American Academy of Neurology annual meeting, in Chicago, also found that men were less likely to die after being admitted to the hospital for cardiac arrest than women, and cardiac arrest patients are getting younger.

"The average age of a patient admitted to the hospital for cardiac arrest in the early 1990s was 68. The average age dropped to 66.5 years old 10 years later," Dubinsky said.

More information

The American Heart Association outlines has more about common cardiovascular diseases.

-- Kevin McKeever

SOURCE: American Academy of Neurology, news release, April 16, 2008

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