Need heart surgery? Delay until the full moon

Summary:Should we look to the night sky before cardiac surgery?

New research suggests that the waxing and waning of the moon could have an impact on your upcoming cardiac surgery.

A recent study at Rhode Island Hospital suggests that gravitational forces may have some connection to the success of an operation, as well as the resultant recovery time.

After collecting and analyzing data from hundreds of cardiac operations at two major centres within a U.S. state between 1996 and 2011, the researchers claim that patients who underwent aortic dissection during the waning full moon were less likely to die from the procedure. In addition, the patients spent less time overall in hospital to recover. At other times of the month, patients spent an average of 14 days in recovery, but with the waning force of the moon behind them, this rate dropped to 10 days.

"Although the gravitational force exerted by the moon on oceans may be significantly powerful to produce the high and low tides," the researchers say, "Its effect on minuscule objects such as human beings is estimated to be a rather small force by Newtonian Laws and is not well understood."

Recent research has found that the rates of error and death increase during the beginning of medical residencies, and some reports claim that complications increase as the weekend looms.

Via: PopSci

Image credit: Flickr


This post was originally published on

Topics: Innovation


Charlie Osborne, a medical anthropologist who studied at the University of Kent, UK, is a journalist, freelance photographer and former teacher. She has spent years travelling and working across Europe and the Middle East as a teacher, and has been involved in the running of businesses ranging from media and events to B2B sales. Charli... Full Bio

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