London - It is common knowledge that one should avoid falling sick on a weekend, when senior doctors are off and hospitals are run by a skeleton staff.
Now researchers have found that the “curse of the weekend” extends backwards through the week - with death rates high following operations on Thursdays and Fridays.
A study has shown that patients undergoing routine surgery were at lowest risk if their operation was carried out on a Monday.
Death rates were 44 percent higher following operations on a Friday than at the beginning of the week, according to the first large study of the link between surgical mortality rates and the day of operation.
The risk increased each day from Monday to Friday with a sudden leap at the weekend. Surgery on Saturdays and Sundays carried an 82 percent higher mortality rate.