We all know what WE think the “weekend effect: is: feeling lazy, doing chores, hopefully exercising, maybe having too much to eat and drink. But that could change for you in the future if you have too much fun. For physicians this phrase has another meaning: it has to do with the heart attacks, strokes, cardiac arrests and other time-sensitive illnesses during those “off hours,” that may not get treated effectively in a hospital emergency room. Thank goodness people who are in car crashes or suffer serious falls, gunshot or knife wounds and other injuries at nights or on weekends do not appear to be affected by the same medical care disparities, because you never know what will happen.

In contrast to previous, multi-hospital studies showing that patients treated for cardiac or neurological emergencies overnight and on weekends are more likely to experience complications and even die than those who come to the hospital on weekdays, new findings suggest that trauma patients are insulated from this so-called “weekend effect” tied to the time of day in which they’re brought to the hospital.

Emergency medicine specialist Brendan G. Carr says, “Patients arriving at a hospital with a heart attack or a stroke may find themselves at a facility unable to optimally manage their condition, especially at night and on the weekend. We found that no matter when you are injured, you get the same type of care when you are brought to a trauma center.”

So if you have to go to a hospital this weekend, make sure it’s for something like a gunshot wound!

Of course, the safest thing to do is to stay home and catch up on your radio listening. Regular unknowncountry.com. listeners only have access to a month of shows, but subscribers can listen, and re-listen, for an entire year. You can also download shows to an MP3 disc so you can listen in your car and in other places away from your computer. And if you become a subscriber for at least 6 months by Jan. 31, you’ll receive a FREE paperback copy of Whitley’s new novel “Critical Mass.”

Art credit: Dreamstime.com

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