In full disclosure, I will not be confirming or denying that citizens of Britain are in fact crazy.
Rather I'll be discussing this article I came across on BBC.com.
Great headline, right?
"Patients 'MORE LIKELY TO DIE' if admitted at weekends"!!!
It caught my attention to say the least and it wasn't soon after that my new-found psychological criticism cried foul. Aren't they jumping the gun a bit? Perhaps there are a few Scientific Principles that missed the boat on this decision destination.
My first thought was, there HAS to be a 3rd variable! Simply being admitted to a hospital from Friday night thru Sunday night cannot give you a one-up on dying.
Hello Scientific Principle # 2, 'Correlation vs. Causation,' glad you could show up.
I should mention that the article did list two explanations for the higher death rate with admissions over the weekend: 1- less staff, lab techs, experts working on the weekend and 2- people with less serious injuries will generally wait until after the weekend to go to the doctor if symptoms persist.
While their claim that it's more likely for more serious cases to go to the hospital seems valid, I thought there could be more behind that rationale. Is there an increase of more serious accidents over the weekend? What causes these accidents?
To test this, I wanted to find out what day(s) of the week and what time of day proved to have the highest amount of car accidents. It turns out nights and weekends are the worst.
Et voila, my 3rd factor: more serious/fatal car accidents take place over the weekend.
Can you think of other factors that occur over the weekend that could influence why more people die if they're admitted to a hospital over the weekend?