Outcomes for weekend hospital admissions or emergency procedures have become a topical and controversial issue for the UK National Health Service. Deceased-donor kidney transplantation is frequently performed at weekends and evidence for its relative safety are lacking.Methods
We undertook a population-based cohort analysis, obtaining data from every deceased-donor kidney-alone transplant procedure performed in England between January 2003 and December 2014. Data were extracted from Hospital Episode Statistics, with linkage to the Office for National Statistics to create a comprehensive dataset for mortality, rehospitalization and kidney allograft failure/rejection for weekend (defined as Friday to Sunday) versus weekday transplantation.Results
Data were extracted for 12 902 deceased-donor kidney alone transplants performed in all 19 English transplant centres between 2003 and 2014. Based on initial χ2 tests, no significant difference was observed when comparing weekend versus weekday transplantation in 30-day (0.9% vs 1.2%; P = 0.126) or 1-year mortality (3.7% vs 3.8%; P = 0.788), 1-year kidney allograft failure/rejection (16.7% vs 16.8%; P = 0.897), delayed graft function (29.97% vs 29.36%; P = 0.457) or 1-year risk for readmission (63.5% vs 63.3%; P = 0.774). In a Cox regression model, transplantation at the weekend was not associated with any increased risk for 1-year mortality, rehospitalization, or allograft failure/rejection.Conclusions
Deceased-donor kidney transplants performed at the weekend do not have inferior short-term outcomes on the basis of 1-year risk for rehospitalization, mortality, or allograft failure/rejection. Our data are reassuring for patients and professionals alike, but may also provide speculative insight into models of care that attenuate the weekend effect.