Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine



I heard a report that older folks who break a hip on Sunday are more likely to die. Is there some religious significance to this?


The answer to this question lies more in the fact that a fracture on the weekend may not get treated until Monday at the earliest. Often the surgery schedules are full for Monday and the patient must wait until Tuesday.

Surgical delays caused by low staffing on weekends are the real culprit, not the fact that the break occurred on a Sunday. A recent study of over 18,000 patients with hip fracture showed a much higher chance of dying in patients whose surgery was delayed two days or more.

Kevin J. McGuire, MD, MSCE, et al. The 2004 Marshall Urist Award: Delays Until Surgery after Hip Fracture Increases Mortality. In Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research. November 2004. Vol. 428. Pp. 294-301.

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