Dalrymple draws attention to a UK statistical study that examined 30-day death rates after non-emergency operations in 2008-11 (except day cases) according to the day on which the procedure was performed. There were 27,582 deaths after 4,133,345 operations, a raw rate of 6.7 per 1,000.
- Those who underwent an operation on Friday had a death rate 44% higher than those who underwent an operation on Monday
- Those who underwent an operation at the weekend had a death rate 82% higher
increased steadily as the week progressed.
Perhaps, says Dalrymple,
hospital staff, especially surgeons and nurses, grow steadily more tired or careless as the week progresses.
Not everyone who needs surgery can have it done on Monday. Therefore,
so long as the information is not known by everyone, the wise patient would be well-advised to keep it to himself. A small number of patients, but not many, can ask for their operations on Monday and have their wishes respected.