The eagle flies on Friday, declared T-Bone Walker in the 1947 hit tune Stormy Monday. That bluesy phrase means Friday equals payday and that equals time to take off! But you know who else takes off on Friday? Hospital workers, including nurses and specialist/doctors. And in many locations, diagnostic labs and imaging facilities are not as readily available, and the technicians might be part-timers with less experience.
Does it matter? Well, two major studies show it really does. In Canada, it seems stroke sufferers admitted on weekends are more likely to die within seven days than those admitted on weekdays. In the U.S., the AMA Journal says heart attack patients are far less likely to survive. And across the board, anyone going into the hospital on a weekend has an increased risk of complications.
So if you (or a loved one) need to go into the hospital on a weekend, here are four smart steps to take:
If you can, arrange to have helpers spend as much time with you as possible.
Get the phone numbers of all doctors involved in your care, including doctors on call; and contact your primary care physician.
Insist on answers to important questions: Did you disinfect your hands? What meds are being administered and why? What tests or procedures are needed and when?
If something doesnt sound right, ask again; then contact the doctor on call. Thatll even your weekend odds.
Mehmet Oz, M.D., is host of The Dr. Oz Show, and Mike Roizen, M.D., is chief medical officer at the Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute. To live your healthiest, visit sharecare.com.