Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Monday Automobiles and Friday Operations

Many people are aware that cars built on Mondays are supposed to have more defects than cars built on the other days of the week; apparently, this is (at least once upon a time was) because severely hungover auto workers would either do a bad job, or call in sick, causing reassignment of people on the assembly line to tasks other than their normal ones.  I don't know if this is still true or not, but Theodore Dalrymple at PJMedia describes a recent British Medical Journal study of 30 day death rates after surgical procedures -- and discovered that Friday operations had a 44% higher death rate than Monday operations -- and the death rate variation was consistent: Tuesday was worse than Monday, Wednesday worse than Tuesday.

It makes you wonder: are surgical teams more likely to make mistakes the later in the week it is?


  1. The explanation I recall being proffered the last place I saw this was more that weekend care is worse, such that it's not the surgery itself, but worse after-care or emergency handling that causes the fatalities.

    It's at least as plausible.

  2. Sigi, but that doesn't explain Tuesday and Wednesday Operations.
    On the other hand, it is NHS they're studying. The DMV with open wounds. . .