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The Independent Online
Hospital beds in the Irish Republic may remain unnecessarily occupied on Saturdays because of superstition, the results of a study showed yesterday. Many patients would refused to leave on the final day of the week after completing their treatment, and doctors would agree to delay discharging them, according to a survey at a hospital in Dublin.

"The superstition implies that leaving hospital on a Saturday means bad luck, and will lead to early re-admission," reported Dr Elizabeth Keane, of Ireland's Institute for Research on Ageing. "Of the 200 patients we interviewed, 13.7 per cent said they would refuse point-blank to go home on a Saturday. And 40 per cent of doctors said they would allow patients to stay that extra day because of that superstition."

Dr Keane added: "This must have a profound effect on the economics and overall management of health services."

The superstition is thought to be based on the expression "Saturday flit, short sit", which the study group found was recognised by many patients and medical staff.

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