Weekend Admission Doesn't Affect Afib Care

Contrary to the findings of a previous study, patients with atrial fibrillation who are admitted to the hospital on the weekend face no greater risks than those admitted on a weekday.

Contrary to the findings of a previous study, patients with atrial fibrillation who are admitted to the hospital on the weekend face no greater risks than those admitted on a weekday.

A 2008 study from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences and Central Arkansas Veterans Healthcare System found atrial fibrillation patients admitted on the weekend had increased in-hospital mortality and length of stay.

However, a new study published in September 2015 found no such weekend-specific effect.

The new team of researchers from the University of Connecticut School of Pharmacy, University of Connecticut/Hartford Hospital Evidence-Based Practice Center, and The Hospital of Central Connecticut examined atrial fibrillation and flutter admissions to US hospitals in 2012.

The authors focused on in-hospital mortality, use of cardioversion or ablation, length of stay, and treatment costs.

They excluded patients admitted for elective procedures and patients transferred from other health care facilities.

In-hospital mortality and length of stay were comparable between patients admitted during the week and those admitted on the weekend (from midnight Friday to midnight Sunday).

The study authors suggested that over the last 4 years, hospitals have made improvements to ensure consistent care. Excluding patients with elective procedures could have also made a difference in the findings between 2008 and now.

While weekend-admitted atrial fibrillation patients did not see a greater likelihood of in-hospital mortality, they did have longer time-to-procedure waiting times than those admitted during the week.

The study also found that weekend admitted patient were less likely to receive rhythm control, which contributes to lowered health care costs.

The findings of this new study were published in the International Journal of Cardiology.