COVID-19 Hospital Death Rates Go Up on Weekends

By Reuters Staff

April 19, 2022

(Reuters) - The average number of global deaths from COVID-19 were 6% higher on weekends compared to weekdays throughout the pandemic, according to statistics reported to the World Health Organization between March 2020 and March 2022.

The research, scheduled for presentation this month at the European Congress of Clinical Microbiology & Infectious Diseases, found that worldwide there were on average 449 more COVID deaths on weekends than weekdays (8,532 vs 8,083).

The highest absolute increase in weekend COVID-19 deaths was in the United States (average 1,483 weekend deaths vs 1,220 weekday deaths), followed by Brazil (1,061 vs 823), the UK (239 vs 215) and Canada (56 v 48 deaths). Only Germany reported significantly fewer average deaths at weekends compared to weekdays.

The increase in COVID-19 deaths on weekends may reflect reporting delays, but it also is likely due to hospital staffing levels and other organizational factors, the researchers said in a statement.

The data does not take into account patients' individual risk factors, local policies and public health interventions, which could have affected the outcomes.

"Further studies, with detailed clinical data are needed to investigate the drivers of and causes for the risk of death on weekdays and weekends from COVID-19," the researchers said in the statement.

SOURCE: https://bit.ly/3uUWsVD, European Congress of Clinical Microbiology & Infectious Diseases 2022.

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