Staffing levels are generally low over the weekends and senior physicians are less easily available. It is generally believed that this affects patients undergoing high-risk surgery. Whether doing tonsillectomy at weekends adds to the risks of post tonsillectomy haemorrhage is the subject of this retrospective study. It compares the occurrence of this complication in 2349 tonsillectomies carried out over a period of three years, of which 94% were performed on weekdays. The authors recorded 114 haemorrhages of which 100 (87.72%) were secondary. There were no statistically significant differences in either primary or secondary haemorrhages between the weekday and weekend tonsillectomies. Only consultants and associate specialists carried out tonsillectomies over the weekend and the grade of the surgeon or the operative technique did not matter. Contrary to some earlier studies, reporting higher bleeding rates in males, there was no gender difference. However, consistent with earlier findings, older patients had a significantly higher incidence of post tonsillectomy bleeding, but the demographics of weekend patients were different from the weekday patients – the former being older and there being more females. The study has some limitations but does indicate that weekend surgery for low-risk procedures does not involve additional dangers.

Is weekend surgery a risk factor for post tonsillectomy haemorrhage?
Patel A, Foden N, Rachmanidou A.
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Madhup K Chaurasia

Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust, UK.

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