RESEARCH ARTICLE


Does Weather Matter? The Effect of Weather Patterns and Temporal Factors on Pediatric Orthopedic Trauma Volume



Kristin S. Livingston1, Patricia E. Miller2, Anneliese Lierhaus2, Travis H. Matheney3, Susan T. Mahan3, *
1 Department of Orthopaedics, UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital, San Francisco, CA, USA
2 Boston Children’s Hospital, Boston, MA 02115, USA
3 Department of Orthopaedics, Boston Children’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA


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© Livingston et al.; Licensee Bentham Open

open-access license: This is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial 4.0 International Public License (CC BY-NC 4.0) (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/legalcode), which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Orthopaedics 300 Longwood Ave, Fegan 2, Boston, MA 02115, USA; Tel: (617) 355-8346; Fax: (617) 730-0459; E-mail: susan.mahan@childrens.harvard.edu.


Abstract

Objectives:

Orthopaedists often speculate how weather and school schedule may influence pediatric orthopedic trauma volume, but few studies have examined this. This study aims to determine: how do weather patterns, day, month, season and public school schedule influence the daily frequency of pediatric orthopedic trauma consults and admissions?

Methods:

With IRB approval, orthopedic trauma data from a level 1 pediatric trauma center, including number of daily orthopedic trauma consults and admissions, were collected from July 2009 to March 2012. Historical weather data (high temperatures, precipitation and hours of daylight), along with local public school schedule data were collected for the same time period. Univariate and multivariate regression models were used to show the average number of orthopedic trauma consults and admissions as a function of weather and temporal variables.

Results:

High temperature, precipitation, month and day of the week significantly affected the number of daily consults and admissions. The number of consults and admissions increased by 1% for each degree increase in temperature (p=0.001 and p<0.001, respectively), and decreased by 21% for each inch of precipitation (p<0.001, p=0.006). Daily consults on snowy days decreased by an additional 16% compared to days with no precipitation. November had the lowest daily consult and admission rate, while September had the highest. Daily consult rate was lowest on Wednesdays and highest on Saturdays. Holiday schedule was not independently significant.

Conclusion:

Pediatric orthopedic trauma consultations and admissions are highly linked to temperature and precipitation, as well as day of the week and time of year.

Keywords: Admission, Consult, Pediatric, Season, Trauma, Weather.