Patients who undergo pre-planned surgery are more likely to die if their operations are conducted at the end of the week, a new study suggests.
Death rates for elective surgery patients are lowest on Mondays and increase for each subsequent day of the week, researchers said.
The odds of death were 44% higher for patients who had planned operations on a Friday than on a Monday, the study published on bmj.com found.
Researchers, who looked at data concerning more than four million elective procedures conducted in NHS hospitals in England between 2008 and 2011, found that the risk of dying was higher still if the operation was carried out at the weekend.
They found an 82% increased risk if that operation was carried out at the weekend compared to a Monday but stressed that the vast majority of elective procedures are carried out during the working week.