Weekend Admission Affects Mortality in Acute Kidney Injury

Death rate in acute kidney injury patients admitted on weekends higher at smaller hospitals

FRIDAY, April 16 (HealthDay News) -- Being admitted to the hospital on a Saturday or Sunday with acute kidney injury (AKI) is associated with an increased risk of in-hospital mortality compared to being admitted on a weekday, according to a study published online April 15 in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

Matthew T. James, M.D., of the University of Calgary in Canada, and colleagues used the Nationwide Inpatient Sample database to gather information on 963,730 admissions to acute care, nonfederal hospitals in the United States for AKI between 2003 and 2006. Of these, AKI was the primary reason for admission for 22 percent.

The researchers found that, in larger hospitals, there was a 7 percent higher risk of in-hospital mortality for weekend admissions with AKI as the primary diagnosis compared to weekday admissions. In smaller hospitals, however, there was a 17 percent higher risk of in-hospital mortality for weekend admissions versus weekday admissions. In addition, the authors note that weekend admission among patients with AKI as a secondary diagnosis was also associated with increased mortality.

"On the basis of these estimates, we project that approximately 4,000 additional deaths per year occur in patients with AKI admitted on the weekend in the United States, representing one additional death for every 65 weekend admissions with AKI," the authors write.

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