Journal Article

The weekend effect: does time of admission impact management and outcomes of small bowel obstruction?

Derek P. McVay, Avery S. Walker, Daniel W. Nelson, Christopher R. Porta, Marlin W. Causey and Tommy A. Brown

in Gastroenterology Report

Volume 2, issue 3, pages 221-225
Published in print August 2014 |
Published online July 2014 | e-ISSN: 2052-0034 | DOI:

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Aims: To determine whether day and time of admission influences the practice patterns of the admitting general surgeon and subsequent outcomes for patients diagnosed with small bowel obstruction.

Methods: A retrospective database review was carried out, covering patients admitted with the presumed diagnosis of partial small bowel obstruction from 2004–2011.

Results: A total of 404 patients met the inclusion criteria. One hundred and thirty-nine were admitted during the day, 93 at night and 172 on the weekend. Overall 30.2% of the patients were managed operatively with no significant difference between the groups (P = 0.89); however, of patients taken to the operating room, patients admitted during the day received operative intervention over 24 hours earlier than those admitted at a weekend, 0.79 days vs 1.90 days, respectively (P = 0.05). Overall mortality was low at 1.7%, with no difference noted between the groups (P = 0.35). Likewise there was no difference in morbidity rates between the three groups (P = 0.90).

Conclusions: Despite a faster time to operative intervention in those patients admitted during the day, our study revealed that time of admission does not appear to correlate to patient outcome or mortality.

Keywords: small bowel obstruction; weekend effect; time of admission; outcomes

Journal Article.  2900 words. 

Subjects: Gastroenterology

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