freelance journalist, print journalist, online journalist, copywriter, content editor, freelance editor, health and lifestyle, blogger And WHERE not to get ill (apparently) | Christine Morgan - Journalist
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It’s been a rough old time for hospitals lately. Just a couple of weeks ago I wrote about a US study that suggests you  have a bigger chance of dying from a fatal medication error (that’s being given the wrong drugs, or the wrong dose, or perhaps at the wrong time) in hospital if you’re a patient during the months of July/August, thanks to the surge of new junior doctors taking up their first posts at that time of year (Another reason to stay out of hospital?).

Then two days ago I warned against being admitted to hospital at the weekend because you’re more likely to die than if you were admitted during the week (When NOT to get ill, part 2). Then, adding to the misery, I stuck the boot in yesterday by suggesting the ban on hospital flowers in many UK wards is more about hospital staff not being bothered to look after them than any possibility they could harm patients (Hospital flowers aren’t dangerous – just messy).

And now The Guardian is getting in on the act. According to the newspaper’s own investigation (hurrah for the survival of investigative journalism!) – and I won’t go into the whole thing in detail as there’s so much to discuss – you’re more likely to die in a small hospital than a big, busy one. Well, at least if you’re having vascular surgery, that is.

Now I’d imagine that, given the choice, most people would opt to be admitted to a small hospital where you’d think there’d be a better chance of your having more personal care. Well think again. Bigger, busier hospitals apparently have better trained doctors and staff – most likely because they do more operations and so on, so they’re more experienced. At least that’s the theory.

So there you have it. Now if you’re going to get ill and a hospital stay looks likely, just avoid the summer months and weekends. And after dialling 999, ask the ambulance driver to put his or her foot down and head for the biggest hospital their petrol tank will take you to.

Oh yeah, and if you’re about to give birth – and I know most women don’t have much say in the matter – try your best to have your baby during the day rather than at night, because according to researchers writing in BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology (yes, bit of a mouthful, isn’t it?) birth complications are less common during daytime hospital deliveries than when babies are born in hospitals at night.

Not that I’m trying to make you riskfactorphobic or anything like that….