Background & aims: Previous studies have identified a weekend effect in outcomes of patients with various medical conditions suggesting worse outcomes for weekend admissions. The aim of our study was to analyze if weekend admissions for upper gastrointestinal hemorrhage (UGIH) have higher mortality and longer hospital stay compared with those admitted on weekdays, and to examine if this effect differs by hospital teaching status.
Methods: This was a cross-sectional study using the Nationwide Inpatient Sample 2004. A total of 28,820 discharges with acute variceal hemorrhage (AVH) and 391,119 discharges with acute nonvariceal UGIH (NVUGIH) were identified through appropriate International Classification of Diseases, ninth edition codes. Admissions were considered to be weekend admissions if they were admitted between midnight on Friday through midnight on Sunday. In-hospital mortality, frequency, and timing of endoscopy were measured.
Results: On multivariate analysis, NVUGIH patients admitted on weekends had higher adjusted in-hospital mortality (odds ratio [OR], 1.21; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.09-1.35) and were less likely to undergo early endoscopy within 1 day of hospitalization (OR, 0.64; 95% CI, 0.61-0.68). Weekend admission was not predictive of in-hospital mortality in patients with AVH (OR, 0.94; 95% CI, 0.75-1.18), but was associated with lower likelihood of early endoscopy in nonteaching hospitals (OR, 0.65; 95% CI, 0.51-0.82). Early endoscopy was associated with significantly shorter hospital stays (NVUGIH, -1.08 days; AVH, -2.35 days) and lower hospitalization charges (NVUGIH, -$1958; AVH, -$8870).
Conclusions: Patients with NVUGIH admitted on the weekend had higher mortality and lower rates of early endoscopy. Patient with AVH admitted to nonteaching hospitals also had lower utilization of early endoscopy, but no difference in survival. There is a need for research into identifying the reasons for the weekend effect.