An angioplasty is a common heart procedure that opens up blood vessels that have become narrowed or blocked. Also called Percutaneous Coronary Intervention (PCI), the procedure involves placing a small tube into the blood vessel where it is carefully guided to the heart by a qualified physician. According to the United States National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, certain cases may require a balloon to open the artery and a stent inserted in order to keep the blood vessel open. New research suggests that patients who are admitted to the hospital for an angioplasty procedure on a Saturday or Sunday are at a greater risk of fatal injury than those who have the procedure done during the week.
The study reviewed approximately 1.3 million angioplasty procedures that took place in the United States between 2004 and 2013. The percentage of weekend admissions rose from 12 percent in 2004, to 21.5 percent in 2013. The research showed that the fatality rates for patients who were admitted on weekends was at approximately two percent compared to one percent for patients admitted during weekdays. While the overall odds of fatality are low, whether a patient is admitted on a Saturday or a Wednesday, the data raises questions as to why this is happening.
Is There Truth to “the Weekend Effect?”
According to Doctor Byomesh Tripathi, lead researcher of the study, there is a lot of controversy surrounding “the weekend effect,” which suggests that patients have a greater chance of fatality if they are admitted to a hospital on a Saturday or Sunday versus Monday through Friday. Tripathi said that the study group is representative of what is happening in hospitals across the country. The statistically significant results showed that PCI patients who were admitted over the weekend had higher fatality rates. However, Tripathi stated that the margins are closing when compared to weekday admissions and lengthier hospital stays. Tripathi and his fellow researchers predict that patients undergoing PCI procedures will have improved outcomes if they have better access to quality care on the weekends.
Unfortunately, patients do not always have the choice when it comes to scheduling certain types of procedures, including angioplasties or PCIs. If a patient is admitted on a Saturday or Sunday, they should expect to receive the same level of care that they would get on a weekday. If that does not happen, the patient may want to consider contacting a medical malpractice lawyer who can help them file a medical malpractice lawsuit.
Baltimore Medical Malpractice Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Advocate for Victims of Medical Negligence
If you or someone you love has become ill after being admitted to the hospital for a PCI, you are urged to contact the Baltimore medical malpractice lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton at your earliest convenience. If we determine that the medical professional responsible for performing your procedure was negligent in any way, we will hold that person liable and pursue the maximum financial compensation. We will not stop fighting until justice has been served. To schedule a free consultation, do not hesitate to call us at 800-547-4LAW (4529) or contact us online.
Our offices are located in Baltimore, Columbia, Glen Burnie, and Towson, allowing us to represent medical malpractice victims in Maryland, including those in Anne Arundel County, Carroll County, Harford County, Howard County, Montgomery County, Maryland’s Western Counties, Southern Maryland, and the Eastern Shore, as well as the communities of Catonsville, Essex, Halethorpe, Middle River, Rosedale, Gwynn Oak, Brooklandville, Dundalk, Pikesville, Nottingham, Windsor Mill, Lutherville, Timonium, Sparrows Point, Ridgewood, and Elkridge.