Holiday hospitalization carries higher risks, report says

Holiday hospitalization carries higher risks, report says

(CNN) - Research has shown that going to the hospital in July or over the weekend can be riskier for patients because of factors such as medical errors, understaffing or staff fatigue.

The holiday period can also be added to the list, according to a recent study by the BMJ medical journal.

Researchers found staffing issues and medical errors increased for those discharged from the hospital during the two-week Christmas and New Year holiday period. This was compared to the four weeks before and after those holidays.

The records of over 670,000 patients between 2002 and 2016 were examined, and their discharge dates compared.

When it came to things like follow-up with their doctors, patients discharged during the holidays were less likely to actually schedule those appointments.

And patients who first left the hospital during the holiday period were more likely to be readmitted or die within 30 days.

Medical experts believe reduced staffing during the holidays, and the patients' unwillingness to be in the hospital during those holidays play a role in the increased risks.

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