I was reading this article which mentions that someone was scheduled for a heart transplant at 1:00 a.m.
Heart transplant surgery last several hours (the article says 4-6 hours, which seems remarkably fast compared to decades past). I understand that there may be multiple teams of surgeons involved, so maybe no one person is performing the surgery for all those hours straight. But still … just for ensuring that the surgeons are at their freshest and readiest, wouldn’t it make more sense for such a surgery to take place during ‘business’ hours?
I do understand that medical staff often works late-night and/or overnight hours. But this question is not about emergency staff, but about surgical staff and the precise scheduling of non-emergency** surgery. Why 1 a.m. and not, say, 9 a.m.?
Two hypotheses I have come up with:
a) There may be some advantages to performing the surgery while the hospital overall is at a low ‘overnight’ activity level – less staff on the floor, maybe less competition for any necessary in-the-moment resources (both labor and materials), etc.
b) a noted ‘rock-star’ surgeon is performing the transplant, and she/he may keep unusual hours. It might be the surgeon that idiosyncratically prefers the late-night surgery, and all the rest of the surgical team and support staff have no say in the matter.
** not to say it’s not serious