Vol. 18 No 2 | Winter 2016
Women's Health -> Journal Club
Journal Club: Day of delivery and obstetric outcome
Dr Brett Daniels

This article is 8 years old and may no longer reflect current clinical practice.

Had time to read the latest journals? Catch up on some recent research by reading these mini-reviews by Dr Brett Daniels.


All obstetricians are well aware that babies can be born at any time, meaning that obstetric services must function 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Ideally the standard of care and outcome would be uniform across the week but previous studies have shown the presence of a ‘weekend effect’, with a higher rate of perinatal mortality at weekends compared to weekdays. This study retrospectively analysed data from more than 1.3 million births in England and Wales between 2010 and 2012.1 The authors reported a significantly higher rate of maternal puerperal sepsis, in-hospital perinatal mortality, neonatal injury and neonatal readmissions within three days, in babies born on weekends compared with babies born on weekdays. The reasons for such results were not able to be determined from the published study, but the authors postulate that levels of staffing and consultant presence may partially explain this result.


  1. Palmer WL, Bottle A, Aylin P. Association between day of delivery and obstetric outcomes: observational study. BMJ. 2015; 351:h5774

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