In this study, we investigated the effect of the weekend and summer vacation on mortality in patients with cancer.
All patient data were obtained from their hospital registry records and the Death Notification System of the Ministry of Health.
The majority of patients died in the hospital compared at home, 80.8% versus 19.2%, respectively. Patients aged <65 died mostly in hospital, which was the opposite of those aged ≥65, who died at home. While tumour location and histopathological type had no effect on the place of death, patients with metastasis (including single organ metastasis), diffuse metastases (diffuse metastases: multiple organ metastases) and patients with locally advanced stage disease were found to die more frequently in the hospital. Deaths in the hospital occurred most frequently in August, while deaths at home occurred most frequently in April and October. Deaths in the hospital occurred most frequently on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, while deaths at home occurred more frequently on Monday. It was determined that the deaths in the hospital were significantly higher at the weekend.
This study contains data supporting the weekend effect in oncology patients. Moreover, it provides new data on the increased death rates in August, which coincides with the summer vacation leave month.