There Is No Weekend Effect in the Trauma Patient

Justin E. Dvorak*, Erica L.W. Lester, Patrick J. Maluso, Leah C. Tatebe, Faran Bokhari

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Background: The presence of a “weekend effect”, that is, increased morbidity/mortality for patients admitted to the hospital on a weekend, has been reported in numerous studies across many specialties. Postulated causes include reduced weekend staffing, increased time between admission and undergoing procedures/surgery, and decreased subspecialty availability. The aim of this study is to evaluate if a “weekend effect” exists in trauma care in the United States. Methods: Using the 2012-2015 National In-patient Sample database from the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project, adults with trauma diagnoses who were admitted nonelectively were analyzed. Using logistic and negative binomial regression adjusted for survey-related discharge weights and statistically significant covariables, mortality and length of stay (LOS) were assessed, respectively. Subgroup analysis was conducted using rural, urban teaching, and urban nonteaching hospital-type subgroups. Additional subgroup analysis of patients who required surgery during admission was also performed. Results: A total of 22,451 patients were identified, with 3.94% admitted to rural and 81.42% to urban hospitals. Weekend admission did not have a statistically significant difference in adjusted-mortality (OR 0.928; 95% CI 0.858-1.003; P = 0.059) or LOS (IRR 0.978; 95% CI 0.945-1.011; P = 0.199). There was also no statistically significant increase in mortality or LOS for weekend admits in any of the hospital subgroups. Conclusions: There does not appear to be a weekend effect for trauma admission. This may be explained by the nature of trauma care in the United States, in which there is often 24-h in-house coverage regardless of day of the week. Replicating a trauma service coverage schedule may help other services decrease the presence of the weekend effect.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)195-199
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Surgical Research
StatePublished - Feb 2021


  • Trauma
  • Trauma systems
  • Weekend effect
  • Weekend trauma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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