Certain things are common knowledge if you've had the unfortunate experience of spending much time in the hospital: 1) bad things happen on the weekend and 2) bad things happen at night. If I had to do one thing over again at the hospital when my premature sons were there, it would have been to trade off and stay all night with my son. That's when the shit hit the fan, and when stupid mistakes were made. As it was, I stayed at the hospital until midnight every night. But the real drama happens from 1 to 5 a.m.
The current study examined cardiac arrests among 86,748 adult hospital patients at 507 hospitals during a seven-year period ending last February. The researchers compared survival rates by the time of day and day of the week that cardiac arrest occurred. Among patients who had cardiac arrest between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m., only 15 percent survived long enough to be discharged. That compares to about 20 percent of day-shift cardiac arrest patients who were discharged. Other measures, including 24-hour survival and favorable neurological outcomes, also were worse if the patient had a heart attack at night. The study also confirmed earlier research showing that weekday cardiac arrest survival was better than if cardiac arrest occurred on weekends.