It's a myth that happens to be true - you're more likely to die in hospital if you're admitted in August. And new research goes one better: you're more likely to die if you're admitted on the first Wednesday of the month.
The reason is simple. The first Wednesday of August is traditionally the day when newly-qualified doctors start work for the very first time.
If you're unlucky enough to be admitted on that first Wednesday in August, your chances of dying are 6 per cent higher compared with patients admitted on the last Wednesday of July.
The day refers to hospitals in the UK, which is when trainee doctors take up their first job; in the US, the problem is similar, but is referred to as the 'July phenomenon', which is when junior doctors start in American hospitals.
(Source: PLOS One, 2009; 4(9): e7103).