Many health practitioners seem to agree that certain seasons are preferable for surgeries. While many patients choose to have certain procedures during certain times of the year, numerous factors should be considered before getting on the surgery table.
Research has indicated that July is the worst time to have a surgery. This can be partly attributed to students graduating in medicine starting their residency programs this month. The Journal of General Internal Medicine states that fatalities increase up to 10% in summer. Most of the 100,000 annual deaths caused by medical mistakes are recorded in July. Another study was once conducted on 3,000 patients awaiting surgery in various hospitals in the US. It revealed that surgeries conducted in July led to more mortalities and complications than those done during other months. Further, the study stated that more patients were likely to die a week after surgery if that surgery was done on a public holiday.
So what season is the busiest for surgeries? Summer is generally regarded as the busiest season. Many patients choose summer because of the warm weather more long holiday weekends that allow them recovery days without taking time off work. Students are off in the summer and have elective surgeries when they won’t miss school.
Many higher risk activities such as mountain biking, rock climbing, swimming, surfing and many team sports are most active in the summer months. According to research, the months of May through August witness more unintentional deaths and injuries than other months. This is especially true for children, teens and young adults. Most of these injuries emanate from car accidents, violence and sports.
Additionally, summer experiences the highest number of surgeries for accidental trauma. With the sun out, schools closed and a general feel good mood, many people are out there having fun. Unfortunately, this fun occasionally turns into over-drinking, over-speeding, bar brawls and many other undesirable situations. High risk occupations such as road work, construction, landscaping, and farming activities pick up during these months as well. The result is a myriad of accidents and mishaps.
The fact that summer is the most perfect time for celebration cannot be overemphasized. This celebration often leads to disaster. In 2012 for example, emergency rooms in hospitals across the country admitted more than 9,000 patients of injuries relates to fireworks. More than half of these injuries were suffered on the head.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), more than 190,000 people die each year from trauma in the U.S. It is comparable to a 747 jet airplane crushing daily, killing all passengers and crew. For this reason, trauma is America’s fourth leading cause of death.
While summer may seem to offer the most convenient time for an elective surgery, keep in mind that this is the busiest time for these professionals and your odds of getting a less experienced member of the surgery team are higher.